Tayside and Central Scotland

Top Scots skier suffers broken back during training

Charlie hospital Image copyright Charlie Guest
Image caption Charlie Guest spent eight hours strapped to a backboard on her way to hospital

One of the UK's top female skiers has suffered a broken back while training in Sweden.

Charlie Guest, the UK number one female alpine slalom skier, fractured vertebrae in her spine after falling and landing on a boulder.

The 20-year-old, from Perth, spent eight hours strapped to a backboard during the 250km (155 mile) journey to hospital from the remote slope.

She said she was lucky to be alive following the crash.

Ms Guest and her team initially feared her injuries could be career-ending, and doctors do not know when she may be fit to compete again.

However, she credited her coach's insistence she wear a back protector on the day of the crash for the fact her injuries were not more severe.

Image copyright Charlie Guest
Image caption Ms Guest is the UK number one female alpine slalom skier

She said: "The accident happened in quite a remote area, so after eight hours strapped down to a board I was pretty terrified about how serious my injuries were.

"Whilst I'm devastated that I'm 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 Moser the biggest thank you of my life for his insistence that I wear my back protector."

Safety gear

The run was only the third time Ms Guest had worn her back support while training for the giant slalom, and she now wants to see the safety gear become compulsory for all skiers.

She said: "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."

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