At their heart, the Olympic Games are a collection of stories, of both triumph and heartbreak. This is one of the latter ones.
Heidi Kloser, 21, is one of the top skiers in the world. She's at her first Olympics, but for her, they're already over before they even began. Kloser was skiing a practice run on the moguls when she wrecked — and wrecked badly. She tore both ACL and MCL and fractured her femur, and she's out for the rest of the competition.
[Related: Kearney, Bilodeau eye Olympic moguls double]
But it was in the ambulance that this story takes a turn from heartbreaking to poignant. Kloser's parents, Mike and Emily, were there at the slopes, and Mike wrote about the following account on his Facebook page:
"When she was in the ambulance, she asked Emily and me if she was still an Olympian....We said of course she is!"
Heidi Kloser's wreck didn't appear particularly bad, and initially Mike Kloser thought she'd simply caught an edge and had a small wreck. But when she didn't get up, they realized the wreck was much, much worse than they'd expected.
“I saw an American coach quickly put his skis on and rush down, and I thought, ‘Oh, no, that’s Heidi,’” reigning gold medalist Hannah Kearney said.
"Heidi's doing OK, but there's moments when the reality of it all hits home," Mike Kloser wrote. "She's a tough one, but this is a tough one to swallow for all of us!"
He's right, though. There's no such thing as a "former" Olympian. Regardless of whether Heidi Kloser ever returns to compete in the Olympics, she'll always be an Olympian.
[Hat tip: Deadspin]
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