Heidi Kloser, a U.S. Olympic skier who was ranked second in America before the Winter Games, crashed prior to the opening round of Sochi 2014, severely injuring her right knee.

Heidi Kloser Crashes In Warm-Ups, Injures ACL & Femur

Kloser was warming up for the qualifying round of the Sochi Olympics when a crash caused her to fully tear her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), partially tear her medial collateral ligament (MCL) and suffer an impact fracture to her femur, reported ESPN. Following the Olympic-ending spill, Kloser was brought to the athletes village medical clinic for evaluation.

Fellow team USA Olympic skier Hannah Kearney had been waiting at the start gate when she learned of Kloser’s crash, according to USA Today Sports. After watching Kloser perform a back flip off the first jump, Kearney said, “Next thing I know, they closed the course." When they closed the course, Kearney knew it meant Kloser had fallen.

Hannah Kearney Inspired By Kloser Crash

"I've been thinking about her since then," Kearney told USA Today. "Even [my] run, in some weird way it puts everything into perspective when someone gets hurt like that. Her Olympic dreams got crushed in the first three seconds of the course being open. It reminds you that I'm really grateful to be healthy and to be able to ski. It removed some of the nerves."

Though Kloser won’t get a chance to represent the U.S. on the slopes with Kearney anymore, she’s no less of an Olympian in the eyes of her father, Mike Kloser. When asked by his daughter if he still considered her an Olympian, the answer was a no-brainer. “We said, of course she is," he wrote on his Facebook page.

– Chelsea Regan

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