Ondrej Bank crashes at world championships

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Ondrej Bank of the Czech Republic suffered a concussion, bruised leg and cuts on his face after he crashed near the finish during the downhill portion of the Alpine combined Sunday at the world championships.

He was able to move on his own and underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which race officials said was clear. It hasn't been determined yet whether it will be necessary for Bank to stay at the hospital overnight for observation.

Bank was in the middle of a fast run when he stumbled just before the final jump and went over it out of control. He slid across the finish line on his side and medical personnel rushed to treat him.

The 34-year-old Bank was down on the course for around 10 minutes before he was taken off the slope on a sled.

His teammate, Martin Vrablik, found it difficult to race after seeing Bank's violent crash. He was already "a little scared" of the demanding course and finished 5.40 seconds behind the time of leader Kjetil Jansrud of Norway.

"I couldn't think about anything, just focused on Ondrej," Vrablik said.

Vrablik said he rode up the chairlift before the race with Bank and they talked about the downhill portion.

"I think he was sure that he (was going to) take the medal," Vrablik said. "He was absolutely focused on the best run here. He was happy and he was ready."

It's been an injury-filled career for Bank, who's broken legs and hands, shattered his shin, underwent two major knee surgeries for ACL tears, had a fractured jaw and dislocated a shoulder after hitting a gate. He also contracted a mysterious illness in 2011, leading to a loss of more than 30 pounds

Bank entered this season healthy and was gaining traction. He's recorded three top-10 World Cup finishes, including a third-place performance during an Alpine combined event in Austria on Jan. 23. He also was third in the discipline during a competition at Beaver Creek in 2007.


AP freelancer Shauna Farnell contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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