ADELBODEN, Switzerland – American skier Tommy Ford was airlifted to the hospital after crashing in a World Cup giant slalom on Saturday.
Ford crashed three gates from the finish after going wide into rough snow beside the course. His skis touched and he fell forward, sliding down the hill first on his neck and left shoulder.
He knocked over a course-side worker before coming to a stop close to safety nets beside the finish. He initially lay still with his face against the snow.
A helicopter landed by the course 20 minutes later to airlift the 31-year-old racer, who is from Bend, Oregon. It was unclear what injuries Ford sustained.
“Tommy Ford is conscious and has been taken to the hospital for evaluation,” the United States ski team said in a statement. “He was talking to emergency responders when they loaded him.”
NBC’s Steve Porino reported that Ford recognized individuals around him at the scene of the crash, including alpine director Jesse Hunt.
The racer’s father, Mark Ford, reports to Ski Racing Media, “Tommy is in the hospital. We are told that he is stable and talking. He is being evaluated. We are waiting to learn more.”
A later update from the U.S. Ski Team stated, “Tommy Ford’s head and neck injuries are minor and resolving nicely. He has a knee injury that is undergoing further evaluation.”
Ford has one giant slalom win and two more podium finishes in 12 seasons on the World Cup circuit. He wore start bib No. 4 on Saturday as one of the top-ranked racers.
SRM will update this story as information becomes available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.