Medal-winning Polish mountain biker Maja Wloszczowska has pulled out of the Olympics after breaking her foot while training in Italy, she announced on Monday.
"There was a glimmer of hope, but it proved to be only a shadow," Wloszczowska, sitting in a wheelchair, told reporters after a battery of medical tests back home in Poland. "It will be a miracle if I can compete again this year," the 28-year-old said. "All I can do now is wait for my foot to recover fully so that I can get back on my bike."
Wloszczowska injured her foot on a rock during a training session on Friday in Livigno in the mountains of northern Italy. The Pole was seen as one of her country's top medal hopes at the Games. She won silver in the cross-country event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, followed by gold at the World Championships in 2010 and silver at the 2011 edition.
Her first high-profile career success was in 2003, when she won gold at the mountain bike marathon World Championships.