The head coach of the U.S. women's World Cup skiing team, upset by downhill specialist Tori Pillinger's terrifying spill, called for a change in international rules to improve course safety.
Chip Woods said Pillinger, of Park City, Utah, was in stable condition "but in pain" after a 2 1/2-hour operation on her fractured right femur at Sion hospital. Dr. Grady Jeeter, the U.S. team surgeon who performed the operation, also diagnosed a severe ligament damage to the left knee, a broken pelvis, and possible internal injuries. The damaged ligament requires a second operation.
"To tell you the truth, we are very, very fortunate that she is alive," Woods said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "She hit a steel post in the finish area at probably 45 or 50 miles per hour. If she had hit it with her neck or upper back, she could have suffered severe spinal injuries."
Pillinger fell Saturday in the Super-G competition at a World Cup race in Leukerbad, Switzerland . . .
In La Villa, Italy, Alberto Tomba, Italy's newest skiing wonder, won the men's giant slalom for his third World Cup victory in as many races, and increased his lead in the overall standings.
Felix McGrath, a second-group starter at No. 37, skied his best giant slalom race, taking eighth place ahead of West Germans Frank Woerndl and Markus Wasmeier. McGrath, from Norwich, Vt., said he expects to make the top 10 also in the next race, at Madonna . . .
In La Clusaz, France, Marianne Dahlmo of Norway won the first women's World Cup cross country ski race of the season in record time, breaking the 14-minute barrier for the 5 kilometer event. Dahlmo was timed in 13 minutes 54.4 seconds over a sun-splashed course, the first time anyone has broken the 14-minute mark in this event . . .
Czechoslovakian Pavel Ploc made two 92-meter jumps to win the Subaru World Cup Ski Jumping Championship 70-meter event, a day after he won the 90-meter event, in Lake Placid, N.Y.