Betschart injures shoulder on Birds of Prey course |

Betschart injures shoulder on Birds of Prey course

By Dana Jo Turvey

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Wisi Betschart, a U.S. Ski Team speed-racing specialist, became the most recent victim of the Birds of Prey downhill course.

During the second day of training for the opening of the World Cup speed events season, the 22 year-old South Lake Tahoe native crashed just before the gnarly Pumphouse turn on Friday.

A damaged shoulder was the result of Betschart’s ski binding exploding just prior to one of the most demanding sections of the hill. Slick conditions sent the racer into the fencing. After an overnight hospital stay and an MRI test, Dr. Richard Steadman says no surgery is needed for the athlete.

“Wisi has a pretty serious injury. He has a fractured scapula and some torn shoulder cartilage, both of which will heal on their own,” Steadman said. “None of us are sure if the shoulder popped out and back in during the fall, but the result is a fairly unusual injury.”

Betschart’s damaged shoulder will keep him off skis three to four weeks, according to ski team physical therapist, Chris Proctor.

“Wisi is one hurting guy. Besides his shoulder, he’s pretty sore just from the crash. But he should be back at it in about a month,” Proctor said.

After his release from the clinic, Betschart remained in Beaver Creek to watch his teammates try their luck on a hill that Chad Fleischer described as “ice on rocks.” Sporting a new arm sling with the Steadman/Hawkins Clinic logo, the racer talked about his injury.

“I’m pretty stiff and sore,” he said. “Besides my shoulder, I’ve also got a black eye and bruised shins. After my binding blew apart, I just totally crashed. But I already feel better now than I did two days ago, and it’s great that I don’t need surgery. That means I’ll get out racing sooner.”

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