Doubts over Cheshire participation

Andover Advertiser: Rowan Cheshire suffered concussion in the fall Rowan Cheshire suffered concussion in the fall

Great Britain halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire faces likely withdrawal from her first Winter Olympics after suffering a training accident on Sunday night which left her concussed and with bruises to her face.

The Alsager-born 18-year-old was released from hospital on Monday and is recovering at the Athletes' Village but concerns remain over her ability to be ready for her event, which is due to take place at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Thursday.

Medical guidelines issued by FIS, the sport's governing body, advise that in the event of concussion and with a properly managed recovery, "it is possible for the athlete to return to play after a minimum of six days".

Team GB doctors will continue to monitor Cheshire but by Monday afternoon the British Olympic Association had stopped short of confirming that she will not compete.

In an earlier statement, the BOA said: "Her progress will be monitored on a day-to-day basis as is standard with concussion and a determination regarding her ability to compete will be made later this week."

The BOA added that the decision will ultimately be made between Cheshire herself, chief medical officer Niall Elliott and the Freestyle performance director and physio.

While the FIS guidelines are not enshrined in law, it seems highly unlikely team officials would contradict such clear advice on the issue.

The extent of Cheshire's injuries were evident in a photograph she posted of herself on her Twitter account on Monday morning, displaying visible cuts and bruising and with the message: "Wasn't the best day yesterday, still don't remember much! Thanks everyone for the lovely messages."

Withdrawal would be a major blow for Cheshire, who is considered a medal prospect after winning her first World Cup title in Calgary last month.

Cheshire's injury was by no means the only one on Sunday. In the women's snowboard cross competition Norway's Helene Olafsen and American Jacqueline Hernandez were stretchered off the course after accidents in qualification.

Swiss aerials skier Christopher Lambert was also taken to hospital after suffering a suspected dislocated elbow in a heavy fall during training.

On Saturday, Russian ski cross athlete Maria Komissarova sustained a broken and dislocated spine after a training accident. She underwent a six-and-a-half hour operation at a hospital in nearby Krasnaya Polyana and has since been transferred to Munich for further specialist treatment.

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