Howell 'nose' injury could have been worse

Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:24am EST
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By Philip O'Connor

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - A sickening fall left Yuki Tsubota with a suspected broken jaw on Tuesday, but her fellow Canadian Dara Howell had to contend with a less serious but more embarrassing facial injury as she rode to Olympic slopestyle gold.

"I woke up two mornings ago and put my hand over my head, and there's glass lampshades on the wall, and one fell right on my face," a laughing Howell told a news conference following her gold medal performance in the freestyle skiing.

"They put a couple of stitches in there so the scarring's not bad. It's fine, it's no big deal. It's just something stupid that I did and it happens."

Considering how more serious injuries had depleted the field as slopestyle skiing made its Olympic debut, Howell got off pretty lightly.

Norway's Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen was forced to pull out of the competition with a knee problem and American teenager Maggie Voisin withdrew on Saturday after sustaining an ankle injury in training at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

There were also plenty of falls during the competition as favourite and world champion Kaya Turski, who underwent knee surgery in 2013, crashed on both runs and missed the final along with Germany's Lisa Zimmerman.

By far the worst fall, however, was suffered by Tsubota, who lay motionless at the bottom of the final jump after crashing on her second run before being carried off on a stretcher.

"The initial assessment from our physician was that (she had broken her jaw)," Canadian team official Peter Judge told reporters.

"They're taking her in for more assessments but there's nothing other than that."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Canada's Yuki Tsubota crashes during the women's freestyle skiing slopestyle finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake