US skier Nina O’Brien said she “gave everything” she had and “maybe too much” when she suffered a horrific crash in the giant slalom at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 24-year-old racer revealed that she fractured her left leg when she crashed near the finish line, to the horror of her competitors on Monday.
“Well, I gave everything I had, and maybe too much,” a smiling O’Brien wrote on Instagram, where she posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with pins sticking out of her shattered leg.
“I keep replaying it in my head, wishing I’d skied those last few gates differently. But here we are. I had surgery last night to stabilize my tibia, which unfortunately was an open fracture through my leg,” she continued.
She said she will continue to seek treatment when she returns to the US.
“I’ll get the rest fixed at home, but for now I’m in great hands. I want to say thank you to everyone who’s taken care of me, especially those who rushed to me in the finish and my doctors and nurses in Yanqing,” O’Brien wrote.
“I’m a little heartbroken, but also feeling so much love. Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. My phone is flooded with messages, and waking up to your words means more than you know. The good news is that today is a new day — and I get to cheer on my teammates. Good luck to everyone competing and enjoy it,” she added.
Among those who reached out to her was fellow skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
“We are so heartbroken for Nina… she showed so much heart and fire in her skiing today, and it all got shredded to pieces on the final turn,” the two-time gold medalist wrote.
“This sport… this sport is SO damn hard. It’s brutal, and it hurts- far more often than it ever feels good,” added Shiffrin, who crashed out of the giant slalom race earlier, but expects to compete in additional events.