February 18, 2010 / 4:32 AM / in 9 years

Rolland rolls out in embarrassing crash

France's Marion Rolland cries as she receives support after she crashed during the women's Alpine Skiing Downhill race at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 17, 2010. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

WHISTLER (Reuters) - It was her first Winter Olympics; it also looked like her first time on skis.

Four years of training resulted in a four-second flop for France’s Marion Rolland, the victim of an embarrassing spill just moments after leaving the starting gate in the women’s downhill at the Vancouver Olympics on Wednesday.

Rolland dug her poles into the demanding Franz’s downhill piste four times over the first few meters before she suddenly lost her balance and tumbled onto her right side as her left arm waved wildly in the air.

To make matters worse, the 27-year-old injured her knee in the process and had to be helped off the course.

“Obviously, the morale is not too good,” a spokeswoman for the French team said.

Rolland is definitely no newcomer to the sport. She finished fifth in the World Championships last year and is 7th in this season’s World Cup downhill rankings.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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