Canadian skier airlifted to hospital

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:06 PM ET

Canadian skier Louis-Pierre Helie was airlifted to a local hospital after suffering a suspected concussion in a crash Tuesday during a training run for a World Cup downhill in Bormio, Italy.

Helie, a native of Berthierville, Que., crashed hard on the icy Stelvio course, resulting in a head injury, according to the Canadian team.

"We are still waiting for the final results to see if there was any damage to the brain," said Canadian team doctor Stephen French. "He has been awake and alert since the crash. Louis-Pierre has had a spectacular season and he is in extremely good shape, which might be one of the reasons why he is responding so well after his accident."

The 24-year-old was plucked off the mountain by helicopter and taken to a local hospital. Alpine Canada later said Helie would be transferred to a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, where a neurological scan will be done.

American Marco Sullivan, the first skier down the hill, crashed midway through his run but was able to get up and make his way down the hill. He was later taken to a hospital in Sondalo.

Austria's Klaus Kroell posted the fastest time while Canada's Robbie Dixon was seventh.

The race is scheduled for Wednesday.

No podium for Gagnon

Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada posted a top-25 finish in the last World Cup women's giant slalom race of the year.

Gagnon, from Lac-Etchemin, Que., finished 23rd Tuesday at Simmering, Austria, posting a combined time of two minutes, 12.36 seconds. She was 19th after the first run but fell back after the second.

"I'm a little bit disappointed," Gagnon said. "I didn't have a good second run. Obviously, I have to be realistic. If it had been last year I would have been happy with a 23rd place but I've been skiing really well in giant slalom this season so I had better expectations."

France's Tessa Worley won the race in 2:09.66. It was her third giant slalom win of the season.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Saint-Sauveur, Que., didn't qualify for the second run after finishing 50th in the first. She was the only other Canadian in the event.


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