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Injured Russian skier flown to Germany

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) visits Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova at a hospital in Sochi, February 15, 2014. REU
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) visits Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova at a hospital in Sochi, February 15, 2014. REU

By Timothy Heritage

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova was flown to Germany on Sunday for further treatment after breaking her back during training at the Winter Olympics and undergoing surgery.

Russia's Freestyle Ski Federation said a special flight had been laid on to enable the 23-year-old to be treated at a specialist clinic in Munich, where Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said she would have a second operation.

The federation said her condition was serious but stable after a more than six-hour operation on Saturday to attach a metal implant to her spine.

"We are trying to make everything okay," Mutko told Russian news agency RIA by telephone.

Dismissing questions about the costs, he said: "Don't worry about that. There are no problems here. Nobody will abandon Masha."

Komissarova suffered the injury during training on Saturday at the Olympic skicross venue at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in the mountains above Sochi.

She was taken to a nearby hospital that was specially built for the Olympics, where she underwent surgery.

Several more skiers and snowboarders suffered less serious injuries during falls in races and training on Sunday.

President Vladimir Putin visited Komissarova on Saturday evening to wish her a rapid recovery and called her father by telephone after the skier told him he was extremely worried.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also wished her a full recovery in a telegram on Sunday.

"Millions of Russian fans are sincerely worried about you and hope that the doctors will do all they can to restore your health and the ability to play sport," Medvedev wrote.

"You are a strong person and I am sure that the Olympic spirit, perseverance and dedication will help you cope with this difficult situation," said Medvedev, a former president.

(Editing by Mitch Phillips)

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