Heartbroken: Palisades Tahoe skier Nina O’Brien crashes during Giant Slalom, AJ Hurt steps in

Team Palisades skier Nina O’Brien says she gave everything she had. Maybe too much.

O’Brien was reaching the last gate on her second run of Giant Slalom on Monday when she crashed, suffering several injuries at the Olympics.

Nina O’Brien had to receive surgery to stabilize her tibia.

Mark Jarvis, owner of Tahoe Ski Girl, which O’Brien is a member of, said she has a broken leg and several torn ligaments, but no head or neck injuries.

Jarvis has not yet spoken to O’Brien, but has talked to people who are with her. They said she remained conscious throughout the whole ordeal, and she was asking how fast she’d been going before she crashed.

O’Brien’s teammate Mikaela Shriffrin put out a heartfelt post on Instagram following the crash.

“We’re so heartbroken for @nina_obrien… she showed so much heart and fire in her skiing today, and it all got shredded to pieces on the final turn. This sport… this sport is so damn hard,” Shriffrin said.

The post continued, “The warrior that she is, she will get back stronger and speedier than ever, with the same upbeat and kind attitude that is trademark Nina.”

Jarvis seconded those sentiments, saying he knows this won’t stop O’Brien.

O’Brien couldn’t be reached for comment. She also updated her followers on Instagram.

“Well, I gave everything I had, and maybe too much,” the post said.

“I keep replaying it in my head, wishing I’d skied those last few gates differently. But here we are,” the post states. “I had surgery last night to stabilize my tibia, which unfortunately was an open fracture through my leg. I’ll get the rest fixed at home, but for now I’m in great hands. I want to say thank you to everyone who’s taken care of me, especially those who rushed to me in the finish and my doctors and nurses in Yanqing.”

“I’m a little heartbroken, but also feeling so much love. Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. My phone is flooded with messages, and waking up to your words means more than you know. The good news is that today is a new day — and I get to cheer on my teammates. Good luck to everyone competing and enjoy,” the post concluded.

Tahoe Ski Girl is selling Nina O’Brien shirts and all the proceeds will be going to her. Visit to purchase a shirt.

“She has a long road to recovery,” Jarivs said. “We are proud to have her as one of our Tahoe Ski Girls.”

O’Brien’s Team Palisades team member AJ Hurt stepped in for her during the Slalom competition on Wednesday.

Hurt took 34th with a run one time of 56.68 seconds and a run two time of 55.51 seconds, putting her 7.21 seconds back from gold medalist Petra Vlhova from Slovakia.

Laney Griffo is a staff writer with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

Nina O’Brien skis around a gate during training at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Ryan Mooney / @usskiteam
AJ Hurt eyes her next gate during training at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Ryan Mooney / @usskiteam
From left, Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, and AJ Hurt pose ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
Ryan Mooney / @usskiteam
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