February 17, 2018 / 7:44 AM / 10 months ago

Swiss Gremaud goes from ambulance to silver

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - A day after being rushed to hospital in an ambulance after a training accident, Swiss teenager Mathilde Gremaud passed a concussion test on Saturday before grabbing a courageous silver medal in the slopestyle at the Pyeongchang Games.

Freestyle Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Ski Slopestyle Final - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 17, 2018 - Silver medallist Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland celebrates. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The 18-year-old freestyle skier had banged her head when attempting a trick during training on Friday and after getting groggily to her feet, ended up in hospital for a CT scan.

“I actually don’t remember what happened,” she told reporters after finishing runner-up behind compatriot Sarah Hoefflin at the Phoenix Snow Park. British skier Isabel Atkin took the bronze.

“After 180 degrees, I stopped my rotation and I fell on my back and hit my head pretty hard,” Gremaud said. “I was crying.

“I had a little bit of a headache... This morning I was praying that everything was alright. I did some concussion test with the doctor.

“He said everything was alright and I just enjoyed the day.”

Gremaud, who was fifth at last year’s world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, appeared to have landed a knock-out punch in the first run of the final when she scored an 88.00 with an acrobatic routine that put her top of the standings.

She held the lead until deep into the third and final run before the 27-year-old Hoefflin snatched the gold away from her at the death with a score of 91.20.

She was still thrilled with her silver and happy for Switzerland to have two on the podium in the event’s second Games following its debut at Sochi where North Americans hogged the podium.

“I was so stoked, that was really amazing,” said Gremaud. “I was just staying cool and not really thinking about it, just enjoying it.

“I was happy for (Hoefflin), I got a silver, so I can’t complain.”

Editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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