Skater badly injured in rehearsal accident

A female skater has been severely injured after falling to the ice from five meters during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne.

Police said the 35-year-old Russian woman's life is in danger and an investigation into the incident is underway.

The woman was being hoisted by a cable attached to the ceiling of the main hockey stadium in Lausanne before she suddenly lost balance and fell.

The inquiry must try to establish "the reasons, the circumstances and possible responsibilities in this accident," police said.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement a female performing artist was evacuated for treatment at a hospital in Lausanne, without detailing the incident.

"The IOC and Lausanne 2020 wish the performer a fast and full recovery," the Olympic body said.

The two-week games open Thursday with a ceremony at the new arena, which will also host games at the men's hockey world championships in May.