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Sochi: Russian skier Maria Komissarova breaks back during training

By Mariano Castillo and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
February 15, 2014 -- Updated 2309 GMT (0709 HKT)
Maria Komissarova performs in a training session at a freestyle skiing event in Italy in 2012.
Maria Komissarova performs in a training session at a freestyle skiing event in Italy in 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Maria Komissarova is on a ventilator, Russian TV reports
  • Komissarova broke her back during training
  • The decision was made to operate immediately
  • She was training for the ski-cross competition

(CNN) -- Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova has undergone more than six hours of surgery after breaking her back during a training run at the Winter Games in Sochi, the Russian Freestyle Federation spokesman said Saturday.

Komissarova, 23, fractured a vertebra and dislocated her spine when she crashed at the PSX Olympic skicross venue at Rosa Kuhtor, federation spokesman Mikhail Vezhba told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

"The operation lasted 6½ hours, and it was successful," Vezhba said. "We'll know more about the details later."

A source close to the situation earlier told the Russian news agency that Komissarova's condition was too serious to transfer her to Moscow.

The skier was reportedly in "unbearable" pain when she was rushed to the hospital, the news agency reported.

Komissarova placed second in a World Cup event in 2012 but was not considered a medal contender in Sochi. She injured her leg last year, requiring surgery and keeping her off the slopes for almost six months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited with Komissarova in the hospital, news channel Russia-24 reported.

Footage showed Putin meeting with the skier, who was on a ventilator, in the hospital. He patted her head as he spoke.

CNN's Brian Walker and Chris Eldergill contributed to this report.

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