Vail’s Kloser injures knee | SteamboatToday.com

Vail’s Kloser injures knee

Luke Graham

— Vail mogul skier Heidi Kloser, a legitimate medal challenger, was carted off the moguls course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Thursday.

Kloser was practicing on the course before Thursday's opening qualification event when she crashed several moguls after the first jump.

"I saw Heidi go off the top jump," defending Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney said. "I was in the start gate about to push off but she and I have the same coach so I thought I should wait till she gets to the bottom before I go. Next thing I know, they closed the jump, and I saw an American coach quickly put on his skis and rush down and I thought, 'Oh no, that's Heidi.'"

Kearney and teammate Heather McPhie each said they heard it was Kloser's knee.

Kloser's father, Mike, confirmed to the The Denver Post that his daughter was at the hospital getting an MRI.

"I was on the lift when I saw her down," Steamboat Springs skier Eliza Outtrim said. "I was heartbroken for her."

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Kloser had to be considered a strong favorite to medal. The 21-year-old had three top five World Cup finishes in her last starts including a second-place finish at Lake Placid that helped propel her onto the team.

Although Kloser's chances of skiing Saturday are slim, she still plans to be at Friday's opening ceremonies.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham