Canada's Kucera to miss Olympics after crash
Calgary's John Kucera, the reigning downhill world champion, suffered a broken leg when he crashed during Sunday's World Cup super-G race at Lake Louise, Alta., ending his hopes for the 2010 Olympics.
Alpine Canada confirmed late Sunday that the 25-year-old will be out until next season after undergoing surgery at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital to repair fractures to the tibia and fibula in his left leg.
Kucera, who won the super-G at Lake Louise in 2006, went down in an icy section midway through his run Sunday and was airlifted off the course.
"Johnny is a tough cookie," Alpine Canada chief athletics officer Max Gartner told CBC Sports. "If there was any chance for him to ski down [to the finish line], I think he probably would have."
Canada's Manuel Osborne-Paradis won the race but his celebration afterwards was bittersweet.
"That was the toughest part, I think. You're in the lead, but then you're obviously looking at your buddy who you train with all the time," he said. "It's a sad thing to see."
Kucera, 25, finished 24th in the World Cup overall standings last season, two spots behind top Canadian Erik Guay.
Kucera was considered one of Canada's best hopes for an alpine medal at February's Vancouver Olympics. He was the best Canadian in Saturday's season-opening downhill at Lake Louise, finishing sixth.
American T.J. Lanning crashed in that race and also had to be airlifted out. Lanning suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck and a dislocated left knee, ending his season and any chance at the Olympics.
U.S. ski team spokesman Tom Kelly said the 25-year-old has full movement
U.S. team medical director Richard Quincy called Lanning's injuries "serious," but added in a statement on Sunday that the "vertebra fracture is not displaced and does not appear to require surgery at this time."
With files from The Canadian Press