- Associated Press - Monday, February 17, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Jackie Hernandez doesn’t remember the fall. And, after watching the replay once, which was all she could stomach, she still doesn’t know what happened.

The 21-year-old from Londonderry, Vt., fell and suffered a concussion during qualifying of the women’s snowboardcross contest Sunday.

A day later, she said she was “still a little sore, but it could be worse.”

She’ll get over the physical part. The emotional toll will take longer.

“I’m pretty devastated,” she said. “It’s hard because I feel like I didn’t even get a chance to try.”

Making that part worse was that qualifying heats were run only to seed the riders. Nobody got eliminated. So, they were basically a practice run down the course with no big stakes involved.

“I didn’t even get an opportunity to show the world that I can race well, and what I can do,” Hernandez said.

She says she plans on sticking around long enough to try to compete at the 2018 Olympics.

Meanwhile, she may not ever figure out why she fell.

“I talked to my coaches and they don’t have an answer for it either,” she said. “It could’ve been a gust of wind, could’ve been a mental thing that made me twitch. Could’ve been anything.”

- By Eddie Pells - Twitter https://twitter.com/epells

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