'I am absolutely devastated': Canada's Elena Gaskell suffers torn ACL, meniscus in training run

Canadian freestyle skier Elena Gaskell has revealed details about the injury that ruled her out of Monday's big air competition. The Vernon, B.C., athlete says she tore her ACL and meniscus while training a day before her first Olympic event.

Vernon, B.C., freestyle skier says injuries happened prior to 1st event at Beijing 2022

Elena Gaskell of Vernon, B.C., is seen crashing during a freestyle skiing big air training session on Monday in Beijing. On Tuesday, the athlete shared on social media that she had tore her ACL and meniscus. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Canadian freestyle skier Elena Gaskell has revealed details about the injury that ruled her out of Monday's big air competition.

The Vernon, B.C., athlete says she tore her ACL and meniscus while training a day before her first Olympic event. Gaskell said in a post she shared on Instagram that she also has a bone bruise on her femur.

"I am absolutely devastated. I do not feel okay at all," the 20-year-old wrote in the post that shows her on crutches. "I feel like I have worked so hard to be here. I moved towns, to make sure I could train more and stay strong. I have been doing everything I possibly can to make sure this wouldn't happen."

Beijing marked Gaskell's first Olympics and was a medal hopeful in the big air event. She was also supposed to compete in slopestyle on Feb. 12 and halfpipe on Feb. 16.

WATCH l Gaskell emotionally speaks about supporting teammates after knee injury:

Elena Gaskell emotionally speaks about supporting teammates after knee injury in Beijing

10 months ago
Duration 1:11
Canadian freestyle skier Elena Gaskell suffered in knee injury during big air practice, and will no longer be competing at the Beijing Winter Games. She spoke to CBC about the injury and cheering on her teammates.

"I worked so hard this season to get my skiing to where it is. I was finally starting to feel happy and confident in myself and my skiing again and this happens," Gaskell added.

"I am honestly still trying to process all of this still but it is very hard for me. I know this is going to be the hardest part and it will get better. I will come back and be stronger and work harder. But right now that feels so far away."

Gaskell suffered a partially torn meniscus that required surgery in 2020, which cut her World Cup season short.

After not competing during the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 season, Gaskell claimed a bronze medal at the big air World Cup opener in Chur, Switzerland, last October.

WATCH l Elena Gaskell's brother made her a better athlete:

Elena Gaskell’s brother made her a better athlete

10 months ago
Duration 2:00
Growing up skiing alongside her older brother for some friendly competition, Elena Gaskell credits her success to her biggest fan pushing her every step of the way.

With files from The Canadian Press

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