Ganong wins downhill race overshadowed by crashes, injuries
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Numerous crashes and serious injuries to Valentin Giraud-Moine and Steven Nyman overshadowed a men's World Cup downhill race won by Travis Ganong on Friday.
Both French skier Giraud-Moine and American Nyman were airlifted for intensive care at the local hospital in Garmisch.
The race was held up for half an hour while Giraud-Moine, who was second in Kitzbuehel, Austria, and on course for a top-10 finish in Garmisch, received attention after losing control on the Kandahar course and crashing into the net near spectators.
The French Ski Federation said in a statement later that Giraud-Moine dislocated both knees.
''He will be brought back to France as soon as possible for the continued treatment of his injuries,'' the federation said.
Nyman had crashed shortly before Giraud-Moine, after a jump into the netting. He also suffered a serious knee injury.
''Quick update. My season is over but aside from my knee everything is okay. Time for some surgery and healing. I WILL BE BACK!'' the American said on Twitter.
Ganong claimed his second World Cup win in 1 minute, 53.71 seconds, beating Kjetil Jansrud by 0.38 seconds and Peter Fill by 0.52.
The race had been rescheduled from Wengen, Switzerland, where heavy snow forced the classic Lauberhorn downhill to be canceled on Jan. 14.
Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday but there are likely to be changes made to the course, with many skiers grateful simply to finish on a day of seven crashes in all.
''I was able to push and stick to my plan and not be too fazed by all the crashes and everything,'' said Ganong, the first American to win in Garmisch. ''It was a tough day for sure. But I'm super happy to win today.''
Erik Guay crashed spectacularly, though the Canadian escaped with just minor injuries and was able to wave at the camera.
''Bumps and bruises but I'm thankful to have skied away from that crash with nothing major! Thanks for all the well wishes,'' the 2011 world champion said on Twitter.
Guillermo Fayed also crashed, The French Ski Federation said he suffered a right knee injury and his return will be determined after treatment.
Lindsey Vonn, who crashed during a World Cup downhill training session on Friday in Cortina D'ampezzo, Italy, tweeted: ''I can't watch the race in Garmisch any more. Too many injuries and crashes. This is crazy!!!''
Jansrud leads the downhill standings after the fourth race, with 202 points, three ahead of Fill and 34 ahead of Dominik Paris of Italy.
The men race downhill again Saturday at the same course.
''I have no expectations for tomorrow,'' Ganong said. ''Just show up and try to ski my best. If I ski my best. I know I can win. I'll try not to think about it too much, and hopefully I'll have another good day tomorrow.''