Update: Street Also Tore Right ACL
US Ski Team Doctor Reports Extensive Damage to Both Legs
Monday, March 16, 1998

Picabo Street Picabo Street

In just a little over a month, Picabo Street has seen the ultimate thrill of victory and now the ultimate agony of defeat. From her spectacular gold medal comeback performance on February 11, to Friday's devastating crash in the World Cup finals, these last 32 days may prove to be the best and worst of Street's career.

According to a statement released today by the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), the US Ski Team surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman, has reported "Street also suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral meniscus of her right knee, which will require reconstructive surgery. Steadman indicated that he was also still evaluating her left leg. Street suffered multiple fractures of the lower left femur. It was repaired with a plate just above the knee."

Street is now at the Vail Medical Center, after a day of tests at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic. She arrived in Vail yesterday from Sion, Switzerland after surgery Friday to repair a broken left femur suffered in the crash Friday in Crans Montana, Switzerland.

"We'll continue to monitor her for the next few days before making a final determination on surgery to repair the right knee," said Steadman. "There's still swelling in her right knee, which is normal with this injury. We want to continue tests in the next few days to help us, and her, make the best decision on the next steps," the USSA reported Steadman as saying.

The USSA also reported Street as being "in good spirits despite the circumstances."

"It's typical Peek - she's taking these things just one thing at a time. She's doing fine all things considered," Steadman was reported as saying.

He did not offer a prognosis as to the long term effects of the accident on Street's career; however, he did say "Picabo's a real fighter, we've seen that before. But it will be a while before we can evaluate how long it will be before she will be able to return to training."

Street suffered an ACL tear in her left knee in December, 1996, before coming back to win the Super-g gold in Nagano.

Picabo Street Breaks Leg
Picabo Street Undergoing Surgery in Switzerland
Friday, March 13, 1998

Picabo Street crashed in the last World Cup downhill today and broke her left leg. She was airlifted from the top of the course and is currently undergoing surgery at a Swiss hospital.

Street was the second woman down the course in Crans Montana, Switzerland, when she sped around a corner and crashed near the top of the course.

"Picabo looked good...then she sat back and crashed..." — Team Coach Herwig Demschar

"She came off a jump and was fine, then she sat back coming out of a turn and crashed about 50 meters below me," Ski Team Coach Herwig Demschar said. "We were supposed to start at 9am and we finally started racing at 1:30 p.m. Picabo looked ready and said she was fine.""

Street broke her femur, which, due to the number of arteries, can have serious consequences. But, US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) vice president Tom Kelly said, it did not appear there were any associated injuries.

"The femur's a serious injury, but it's a clean injury," Kelly said. "There is no indication of any other damage — no blood vessel damage."

A little more than an hour ago, Dr. Bob Scheinberg, the US ski team doctor, along with Street's orthopedist, ski team surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman, of Vail, CO., agreed with Swiss doctors that Street should undergo surgery immediately in a Sion, Switzerland hospital. US Ski team doctors cannot treat injuries, but act as consultants.
Picabo Street The Gold Run

The race had been delayed since Thursday due to fog before its 1:30pm (local time) start today, but the fog was apparently not a factor in Street's crash.

"The visibility didn't seem to be a problem; the first skier (Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister) went down fine. Picabo looked good after the jump but then she sat back and crashed," Demschar said today.

Just four months ago Street came back from a serious injury to her left knee suffered in 1996 to win gold in the Super-g at the Nagano Winter Olympics.

Just a week before the Olympics, and in a near re-enactment of that catastrophic fall on Pepi's Face in Vail, Street crashed hard during a World Cup competition. In that Are, Sweden race she lost a ski at 75mph and crashed hard into the nets. Street suffered a mild concussion and minor injuries.

The race was canceled after the crash, but it is not clear whether one or two skiers may have raced after Street.

The race will not be rescheduled as the titles were wrapped up before the start of these races, though German Martina Ertl, 70 points behind teammate, overall leader Katja Seizinger, had a chance at an overall win. To recoup those 70 points, though, Seizinger would have had to disqualify.

The men's downhill was raced but the men's and women's Super-gs were cancelled.

Street will be stabilized after surgery and then return to the States.

As for what this may do to Street's career, Kelly said, "there's no way of telling."

Sarah Love, Mountain Zone Staff

[Pre-Olympic interview with Street] [Street Talks About Her Comeback]

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