Austrian ski coach Rainer Gstrein has spinal surgery, is kept in induced coma after ski crash

INNSBRUCK, Austria - The speed coach of the Austrian men's ski team is being kept in an induced coma after having spinal surgery Wednesday, three days after suffering severe head, chest and back injuries in a skiing accident.

The Austrian ski federation says Rainer Gstrein is in a stable condition and will undergo further surgery in the Innsbruck University Hospital on Thursday.

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The federation says Gstrein skied off course and crashed, with his head striking the icy slope. He was returning to the valley after visiting the women's downhill race of the Austrian national championships in Pitztal on Sunday.

The 56-year-old Gstrein has been a coach with Austria's World Cup team since 1994. He also is the race director of the traditional World Cup season-opening giant slaloms in his native Soelden.

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