Charlie Guest, the UK’s No.1 female alpine slalom skier, landed on a boulder while on a training session in Sweden and has been rushed to hospital with spinal injuries.
She suffered a fractured vertebrae, but Charlie and her team believe the injuries could have been far worse had she not been wearing a back protector. Apparently she hadn’t been wearing the protector much during her training, but that morning Stefan Moser, her coach, persuaded her to wear it. She’s now back in the UK and while the recovery will be long and slow, Charlie knows that she is very lucky to be alive with no permanent damage.
“The accident happened in quite a remote area, so after 8 hours strapped down to a board and a 250km ambulance journey I was pretty terrified about how serious my injuries were. Whilst I’m devastated that I am going to have to take time out to recover, I realise how extremely lucky I am that my injuries are not more severe. I owe my coach Stefan the biggest thank you of my life for his insistence that I wear my back protector.”
Stefan Moser, Charlie’s coach, commented:
“Safety should come first, ahead of anything else and I began to insist that Charlie wore her back protector, no excuses. I saw Charlie’s accident and I know she is very fortunate to be looking at a full recovery, even if it keeps her out of action for some time.”
“This was a massive reality check for me. I won’t be skiing again without wearing the correct safety gear. As someone who spends so much time dedicating myself to my sport, it is easy to forget just how dangerous skiing can be. It is so important to think about safety and I want to help other people avoid career-ending and even life threatening injuries. It could so easily have been a different story for me.”
To find out more about Charlie and for regular updates on her progress visit www.charlieguest.com