Monday, February 11, 2002 Updated: February 12, 3:22 AM ET
Top pairs skaters meet head on in warmups
SALT LAKE CITY -- Canadian Jamie Sale and Anton Sikharulidze
of Russia called their collision during warmups for the pairs free skate Monday night a "freak accident."
Both said the crash had no effect on their performances.
Sikharulidze, who had to skate only about five minutes after the
crash, won the gold medal with partner Elena Berezhnaya. And Sale
and partner David Pelletier took the silver.
"It really shook me up, it knocked the wind out of me," said
Sale, who hurt her stomach and head in a crash she likened to a
It really shook me
up, it knocked the wind out of me. ... I looked at Dave (Pelletier) and I thought, `I'm not
finished. No way.' ”
— Jamie Sale
But after taking some time to regroup, Sale was ready to skate.
"I looked at Dave and I thought, `I'm not finished. No way."'
With about a minute to go during warmups, Berezhnaya and
Sikharulidze appeared to be getting ready to do a throw jump when
Sale slammed into him. Sale put her hands up to try to stop, but it
did little good because she was skating at full speed.
Both skaters crashed to the ice, and Sikharulidze's skate
appeared to clip Sale's knee. But it was getting the wind knocked
out of her that troubled Sale more, and she stayed down on her
knees, her head bowed. Sikharulidze came over and put his hands on
her shoulders, asking if she was OK.
"I can't say anything," Sikharulidze said when asked what
happened. "I hope everything's good with Jamie. It was just a
Pelletier then came over and helped Sale up, putting his arm
around her waist to guide her off the ice. The warmup session then
ended, and Sikharulidze left the ice without finishing his
"I was worried about Anton and Jamie," said Tamara Moskvina,
Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze's coach. "I will not blame anybody in
this collision, but both were affected."
It didn't look like it. When Sikharulidze came out for his
program, it looked as if nothing had happened. Ditto for Sale, who
had a little extra time to regroup because she and Pelletier were the
second-last of the 20 couples to skate.
"Adrenaline does amazing things for you," Sale said. "I was -- as I'm sure they were -- I was in some pain in my stomach. My arms
kind of started to get a little bit numb.
"So when I stepped on the ice, I just said, `I'm not giving
up.' I looked at Dave and said, `This is for us and I'm not giving