Cayman Olympic skier Dow Travers crashed out in his opening competition Wednesday morning, suffering what he described as a suspected “minor concussion.”
He wasn’t alone in wiping out – 30 skiers in the run did not finish the Men’s Giant Slalom.
Mr. Travers, 26, the sole Cayman Islands athlete in Sochi, was making his first competitive appearance in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
He was wearing safety gear during his run, including a helmet that protected his head during his fall. While medical staff did not immediately diagnose a concussion, Mr. Travers said he intended to go through tests on Thursday as a precaution.
“My coach and I have had enough [concussions] over the years to know when we have one,” Mr. Travers said. “It’s only minor, but we will go for a check-up if need be.”
Despite the high-speed tumble, he said he intends to hit the slopes again for his second and final event, the Men’s Slalom on Feb. 22.
“I went for it, I was skiing well but that’s just ski racing, sometimes you crash and land on your head,” Mr. Travers said his Wednesday run. “I would much rather give the course everything I have and crash out than ski … cautiously and get a slow result.
“I left everything on the hill for Cayman and myself. Unfortunately, I may have left some brain cells behind too.”
He added, “Giant Slalom is definitely my best event, but provided all is good after some concussion tests, I’ll be right out on the hill training slalom and getting ready for Saturday.”
Mr. Travers had a DNF (Did Not Finish) result, along with 29 other competitors. Athletes had to ski down a course marked with dozens of gates spaced relatively close together at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, near the Aibga Ridge.
Aside from Mr. Travers, athletes who crashed or did not otherwise complete the course included those from Argentina, Chile, Germany and Finland. Mr. Travers was one of 109 competitors in the Giant Slalom event.
The United States’ Ted Ligety won the gold medal ahead of two Frenchmen, Steve Missillier (silver) and Alexis Pinturault (bronze).
In Sochi, Mr. Travers is joined by coach Jake Zamansky, a former U.S. Olympic skier, and a delegation that includes David Carmichael as chef de mission, and Cayman Islands Olympic Committee president Donald McLean. Olympic Committee treasurer Bernie Bush, who accompanied the delegation for the opening ceremony, returned to Cayman Sunday.
Mr. Travers is making his second appearance at a Winter Olympics after competing at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where he placed 69th in the Giant Slalom.