Three-time Austrian Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern is in hospital with a serious head injury and lung damage after a fall in training, the International Ski Federation said on Friday.
Morgenstern, 27, lost his balance in the air, turned over to the left and landed on his back and head, the FIS said on its website.
He briefly lost consciousness but was able to speak shortly afterward after the crash at the ski flying event in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria.
"Fortunately he was responsive, Thomas can move arms and legs. That's very important," team physician Herbert Leitner said. "He asked me what happened."
Morgenstern received first aid on the hill and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Salzburg, coach Alexander Pointner said.
"We can only hope for the best," Pointner said. "This really hurts because we are all very close. Thomas is the heart of this team."
It's the second heavy fall for Morgenstern in the Olympic season, after he crashed on the snow following a jump at the World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, on Dec. 15.
Then, he suffered several bruises, face cuts and a broken finger but recovered quickly and finished runner-up to fellow Austrian Thomas Diethart in the Four Hills Tour last week.
Morgenstern won two Olympic titles in the individual and team large hill event in Turin in 2006 and a team large hill gold in Vancouver in 2010.