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Slovenian cross country skier won bronze with broken ribs

WHISTLER, British Columbia - Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic is out for the season with four broken ribs and a collapsed lung, injuries she sustained before her bronze-medal performance in the individual classical sprint.

Majdic crashed during training before Wednesday's sprint, falling on a sharp curve and tumbling off the course, then sliding on her back down a three-meter slope and onto some rocks.

On Friday, the Slovenian team said it has filed a protest with Olympic organizers arguing there was not enough protection in place.

"We think that the course was not technically correct," Slovenian team spokesman Branislav Dimitrovic told The Associated Press. "It was not protected in the right places."

After her fall, Majdic insisted on competing. She completed her qualification lap about an hour later, skiing with her face twisted in pain and then crumpled to the snow, before she was helped out of the finish area.

She was taken to a nearby clinic to check for broken bones but was cleared to compete. Dimitrovic said the fractures were missed in an ultrasound scan.

Dimitrovic said the 30-year-old Majdic was unaware of the severity of her injuries until after the event, when she went to a hospital.

Majdic has been hailed as a hero back home, and the country's President Danilo Turk said he will give her a Medal of Honor when she returns.

"I know Petra very well, and she's a champion," Dimitrovic said. "And she demanded, despite her injury, to be taken to the start line."

New York Sports