So far, the Olympic Games have been more about the sports than the injuries. I don’t mind that at all — that’s the way it should be.

Last night, though, we saw two injuries during training at Ski Jumping.

Russia's Mikhail Maksimochkin lies at the bottom of the large ski jump hill after crashing while landing on Wed night during a training session.  He suffered multiple rib fractures. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Russia’s Mikhail Maksimochkin lies at the bottom of the large ski jump hill after crashing while landing on Wed night during a training session. He suffered multiple rib fractures. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Russia’a Mikhail Maksimochkin crashed on the big ski jumping hill on Wed night during a training session. He suffered multiple rib fractures and was taken to the hospital. At the same training session, Poland’s Kamil Stoch, who took gold on the normal hill, also crashed during landing and suffered an “arm injury”. He left the hill with his arm in a sling.

There are two hills in ski jumping. The normal hill, which is 90m in height, and the big hill, which is 120m in height. The ski jumper “falls” nearly 40 stories from the starting position to the landing area in about 9 seconds. The typical take off speed is 55 mph and they land at about 45 mph, all while navigating the air with nothing but themselves, their skis, and their helmet.

Rib fractures are extremely painful because they move with each breath we take. So it is very difficult to get comfortable and breath normally, let alone compete in an Olympic sport such as ski jumping. Members of the national ski jumping federation visited Maksimochkin in the hospital to discuss his injuries and his competition plan. So far there is no word on what his return to competition will be. This is where these Olympic athletes throw caution to the wind for the opportunity to compete and win a gold that comes only once every four years!

Poland’s ski jumper Stoch does plan to compete further in the event.

The finals for the big hill ski jump are being held on Saturday night. Let’s all hope for the best.

Performance Orthopedics
Keeping you in the game…Whatever your game may be.

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