Dionne's surgery nearing

CAMERON MAXWELL --

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

After suffering a serious neck injury during a training run in Australia, Red Deer's Deidra Dionne is in "good spirits," all things considered.

Dionne, who won bronze in women's aerial freestyle at the 2002 Winter Games, can move both her arms and legs but won't know if she'll be able to compete again until after having surgery in Melbourne, Australia.

Her parents, Fay and Stephen, spoke with her on the phone yesterday and said she's doing well.

"She was in good spirits and she has her ups and downs but she sounded really good today and is anxious for us to get there," said Fay, who will fly with her husband today to be with their daughter in Australia.

"I'm sure she's anxious to get the surgery over with and get on with rehab."

Dionne hurt herself in training at Mt. Buller when she came into a jump too fast and "slapped back" on landing. While she landed on her skis, the force of her back, shoulders and head hitting the snow snapped her head forward and that's when the injury occurred, according to Fay.

The surgery will involve fusing some discs in her neck.

Meanwhile, Calgary's Kyle Nissen started the Canadian team's World Cup freestyle ski season with a silver medal yesterday at Mt. Buller. Jeret Peterson of the U.S. began, as he did a year ago, with a victory in the traditional season-opening World Cup aerials event in Australia.

Nissen, who finished fifth at the 2005 world championships on the 2006 Olympic site, scored 242.71 points for his two jumps.


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