Japanese snowboarder Rina Yoshika taken to ambulance with spinal injury

Japanese snowboarder Rina Yoshika has been taken by ambulance after injuring her back in an accident training for the Olympic slopestyle competition.

Yoshika, ranked 12th in the world, crashed hard on a jump during this morning’s practice session.

Medical personnel rushed to help her. It took about 20 minutes to stabilize Yoshika and put her in a sled to take her down the hill.

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Japanese Olympic officials said the 22-year-old suffered a spinal injury but was not paralyzed.

Team Japan’s Rina Yoshika receives medical attention after crashing during the Slopestyle snowboarding practice session (Getty)

They said she would go home after being treated for her injuries.

This year’s Winter Olympics are being held with artificial snow at almost all events.

The use of artificial snow has been at the center of controversy as it is considered less safe.

Earlier in the week, reigning two-time Olympic champion Jamie Anderson said she was hesitant to enter the slopestyle competition, calling the artificial surface “bulletproof ice”.

“I think the majority is artificial snow, so it’s not quite ideal,” Anderson said. “You sure don’t want to fall.”

The qualifying events for the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition will begin tomorrow.

– with PA

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