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Street suffers concussion

Picabo Street, the two-time World Cup downhill champion and the top U.S. Olympic hope in that discipline, sustained bruises, an injured neck and a slight concussion during a scary crash Saturday.

Street, returning to the Olympia course where she won a World Cup race in 1995, fell on the upper part after a ski binding pre-released. The high-speed crash - Street's estimated speed was nearly 75 mph - occurred on the fastest and most dangerous part of the course.She lay on the snow unconscious for approximately two minutes, but was able to walk away from the scene of the accident after a few minutes. Later, she was brought by helicopter to a hospital at Os-ter-sund for tests.

"She's a little dizzy," said Herwig Demschar, the U.S. women's coach. "But for me the most important thing is that the legs are OK because it's always a mental problem if you have the first crash after an injury, if you're OK or not."

Street, who never had a concussion before, came back last month after being sidelined more than a year following knee surgery.

Demschar said Street will return as planned with the U.S. team to the United States today. She'll be back on skis again Saturday in Japan. The women's Olympic downhill is scheduled Feb. 14 at Nagano.

Street left the course crying. She wasn't crying because of her injuries. Street's ski, one of her favorites, was broken.

"That's a bad thing," Demschar said. "It was a very good ski. One good ski out of three. So we still have two to go. As a downhiller, you get attached to two or three pairs of skis that you use for two or three years sometimes.

"I didn't see it. I don't know why the binding opened up. That happens sometimes."

Katja Seizinger won the final women's World Cup downhill before the Olympics, clocking 1 minute, 4.92 seconds down the shortened course. The German extended her lead in both the overall and downhill standings.

Renate Goetschl of Austria was second at 1:05.09 and Florence Masnada of France third at 1:05.18.