US skier Tommy Ford in Swiss hospital after race crash

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (AP) — American skier Tommy Ford was airlifted to hospital after crashing in a World Cup giant slalom on Saturday.

Ford crashed three gates from the finish after going wide into rough snow beside the course. His skis touched and he fell forward, sliding down the hill first on his neck and left shoulder.

The United States ski team later said Ford’s “head and neck injuries are minor and resolving nicely. He has a knee injury that is undergoing further evaluation.”

Ford knocked over a course-side worker before coming to a stop close to safety nets beside the finish. He initially lay still with his face against the snow though was soon conscious and talking with medical staff.

A helicopter landed by the course 20 minutes later to airlift the 31-year-old racer, who is from Bend, Oregon.

Ford has one giant slalom win and two more podium finishes in 12 seasons on the World Cup circuit. He wore bib No. 4 on Saturday as one of the top-ranked racers after top-10 finishes in his past four starts.

Ford’s next scheduled giant slalom is in six weeks — on Feb. 19 at the world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

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