Cindy Nelson of Outsen, Minn., a bronze medalist in the 1976 Winter Olympics, suffered a broken left ankle todaywhen she crashed into bales of straw after crossing the finish line of a World Cup women's downhill race won by Austria Anne-Marie Moser-Proell.
Nelson, who suffered a serious leg injury five years ago that prevented her from competing in the 1972 Olympics at Sapporo, Japan, had completed her second run of the day when she smashed into the bales straw protecting spectators in the finish area. She was traveling about 62.5 miles per hour at the time she crashed. She finished 12th in the race.
"She's in a cast and will be out for eight to 10 weeks," U.S. team director Hank Tauber said of Nelson. "It's a push-out fracture - kind of a crack. But she'll probably miss the rest of the season."
Many of the other racers fell at the same place after completing the 2,800 meter course with a vertical drop of 680 meters - the site of next year's world championships.
Moser-Proell, five-time World Cup titlist making a comeback after a year's retirement, was timed in 1 minute 51.00 seconds in winning her third downhill race of the season and increasing her season's point total to 142.