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Injury setback at Olympics for Okanagan freestyle skier

Vernon’s Elena Gaskell pulls out of big air competition with lower-body injury; two other events scheduled
Vernon freestyle skier Elena Gaskell has pulled out of the first of her three scheduled events, Monday, Feb. 7, at the Beijing Winter Olympics due to an injury. (CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)

Vernon freestyle skier Elena Gaskell’s Olympic dreams have taken a hit.

Gaskell announced Sunday, Feb. 6, on her Instagram page she was pulling out of Monday’s big air competition due to a lower-body injury suffered in training.

“Was supposed to compete in my first Olympic event tomorrow but unfortunately I am going to have to pull out,” she wrote. “I’m absolutely heartbroken … need some time to process.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee said Gaskell suffered an unspecified lower-body injury during a recent training session and would not be able to compete in the big air event.

Gaskell is scheduled to compete in slopestyle on Feb. 12 and halfpipe on Feb. 16, but the Canadian Olympic Committee told the Canadian Press she will be assessed day by day to determine her participation.

“She will be assessed day by day to determine her participation in the slopestyle event,” the COC said.

Freestyle Canada is expected to provide an update on Monday.

The injury is the latest setback for Gaskell, 21. She suffered a partially torn meniscus that required surgery in 2020, which cut her World Cup season short.

After not competing during the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 season, Gaskell claimed a bronze medal at the big air World Cup opener in Chur, Switzerland, last October.

Gaskell did take part in the opening ceremonies.

“Literally speechless about this experience,” she wrote.

READ MORE: Vernon freestyle skier reaches Olympic dream

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Black Press Media Staff

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