Feb. 14, 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.
He said if competitors do not make the first run of the competition, they are out for the rest of it. Luge competition started Monday.
Abernathy could not be reached for comment, however, 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 status as the lone athlete from the Virgin Islands at this year's competition. This was supposed to be her sixth appearance at the games.
St. Thomas supporter Judy Grybowski said Abernathy's Virgin Islands friends were "sad" that she was injured.
Grybowski said that Abernathy's sled was also hurt in the crash, which she said happened between turns 16 and 17 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 in St. Thomas, and still has ties to that island.
Grybowski said that to facilitate training, Abernathy lives in Virginia.
She said that before taking up the luge, she was a professional singer who worked in commercials.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.