Injured Kiwi freeskier expected to fully recover

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 13:14 29/01/2013
Rose Battersby
BAD FALL: Rose Battersby.

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Injured freeskier Rose Battersby is "hard as nails" her sister Kate says.

Rose, 19, suffered a broken back in an accident during a warm up session at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado yesterday morning (NZT).

Today she was undergoing surgery at a Denver hospital, and Kate said the family were expecting to hear from the doctors once that was finished.

Reports the family had received so far indicated Rose would make a full recovery over about six months.

Kate said the damage was not as serious as it would have been had the break had happened higher up Rose's spine.

Rose's coach had been by her side since the accident.

Kate said it had not been possible to talk to Rose because she had been groggy, so communication had been through text and Facebook.

"She's tough, she's hard as nails, so she will be just loving the happy drugs, and making a joke out of everything," Kate said.

"That was her first comment, that she's on happy medicine."

The family had not seen the crash when it happened.

"Mum and dad don't get Sky (TV) for that reason, so they can't watch her," Kate said.

"It's really nerve-racking watching your youngest daughter throw herself off these massive jumps."

The family had become calmer as they learned more about the injury.

"We are good," Kate said.

"Yesterday was shaky, today is good because we know more about everything."

Rose had learned to ski when she was five-years-old, then after college pursued a fulltime skiing career.

The last northern hemisphere winter had been her first professional freeski season, and she took part in the X Games last year in Europe and North America.

Rose's event - slopestyle - involved skiing over jumps and along rails. Kate said Rose had done it for a year and it was scary.

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