Feb. 13, 2006–Virgin Islands luger Anne Abernathy was injured in a training crash Sunday and will not be able to compete in the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, V.I., Olympic Committee president Hans Lawaetz said Monday.
"She broke her wrist and seriously injured her right shoulder," Lawaetz said when reached in Torino.
He said if competitors do not make the first run of the competition, they are out for the rest of it. The luge competition starts Monday.
Abernathy could not be reached for comment.
Lawaetz said she was depressed that she will miss the competition.
Abernathy was accompanied to Torino by Lawaetz, secretary general Angel. L. Morales and committee member Leonard W. Bonelli Sr.
She was making Olympic news for her age — 52, which is old for Olympic competitors — and her membership on the Virgin Islands team. NBC had presented a segment on her Saturday and Monday's New York Times noted her injury.
She is the only Virgin Islands athlete to compete in this year's winter Olympics.
This would have been her sixth appearance at the games.
Aberthnathy supporter Judy Grybowski of St. Thomas said Abernathy's Virgin Islands friends were "sad" that she was injured.
Grybowski said Abernathy's sled also was damaged in the crash, which she said happened between the 16th and 17th turns on the luge track.
Grybowski said in a Feb. 1 interview that Abernathy has non-profit status in the Virgin Islands, where she lived for some of her childhood. She said at one point, she had a house on St. Thomas, and still has ties to the island.
Grybowski said that to facilitate training, Abernathy lives in Virginia.
She said that before taking up the luge, Abernathy was a professional singer who worked in commercials.
(For more on Abernathy, see St. Thomas Source On Island profile).
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