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The Winter Olympics was rocked by awful scenes on Thursday when two stars suffered serious injuries and were ruled out for the rest of the Games.
Japanese snowboarder Rina Yoshika injured her back in a training crash and will not be able to compete in the slopestyle contest.
'SPEECHLESS': Winter Olympics rocked by favourite's withdrawal
The World No.12 fell hard on a jump during a practice session on Thursday.
Medical staff immediately rushed to help her, and took about 20 minutes to stabilise her and put her in a sled to take her down the hill.
Japanese Olympic officials said the 22-year-old suffered a spinal injury but was not paralysed.
They said she will return home after receiving treatment for her injuries.
Yoshika's injury came after American ice hockey star Brianna Decker suffered a serious leg injury in their 5-2 win over Finland.
Decker cried out in agony after being tripped from behind by Ronja Savolainen just 9:32 into the first period.
Savolainen hooked her leg around Decker’s and the two fell awkwardly to the ice, with the Finland player landing on top of Decker.
Decker yelled as she was being tended to by a team doctor, and the veteran forward was unable to put any weight on her left leg as she was loaded onto a stretcher.
The sight of the team’s assistant captain and 11-year veteran unable to put weight on her left leg provided a motivating spark to the defending Olympic gold medalists.
Amanda Kessel and Alex Carpenter scored twice over the next 3 1/2 minutes in the Group A match.
Kendall Coyne Schofield then put the win away with two goals in 64 seconds in the second.
“There’s no replacing Brianna Decker,” said Schofield, the team's captain.
“But in that situation, everyone stepped up to the plate in the way they were asked to.
"And I think that’s how we were successful tonight.
“I just told her, 'We got this'. No matter what she’s a big part of this group.
"You saw that in our response after she went down, how much we picked up the game and took control.”
Winter Olympics rocked by 'sickening' scenes
Kessel said of Decker screaming in agony: “It was sickening.
“She’s one of the toughest players that I’ve ever played with or against, so you know she’s not staying down on the ice or crying when it’s not bad.
"So it’s definitely a gut punch. We want to win for her.”
US coach Joel Johnson said he wasn’t going to dispute the official’s decision not to penalise Savolainen, who appeared to slew-foot Decker from behind.
“They saw it as just people getting tangled up,” Johnson said.
“I’m biased, and so I saw it a little differently. But I don’t think it was a missed call by any means.”
Savolainen said she wasn’t sure what happened, and called it “an unlucky situation” while sharing what she told Decker following the game.
“I just ask how she’s feeling, and then I said, 'Sorry.' Like, I didn’t want to hurt her,” she said.
Oh man, Brianna Decker's screams there were horrible to hear.
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) February 3, 2022
Asst. Captain Brianna Decker just left the game on a stretcher after screaming in pain on the ice. Her leg got caught underneath a Finnish player by the boards. Really awful to see.#teamusa #usahockey #9sports #WinterOlympics
— Arielle Orsuto (@ArielleOrsuto) February 3, 2022
Woke up a bit late and saw the Brianna Decker injury right as I turned on the TV.
Awful. Hope she’s OK.
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) February 3, 2022
Stretcher out for Brianna Decker. Awful.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) February 3, 2022
Awful to see Brianna Decker go down, especially so early in the Games. Hoping it’s nothing too serious 🙏🏻
— Emily K. Reinwald 🎣 (@EmilyKReinwald) February 3, 2022
with Associated Press
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