Benton’s Lindsay Ball, one of the top-ranked visually impaired skiers in the world, failed in her bid to take home a medal during the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi on Sunday.
Of the nine competing skiers, Ball, who was beset by injuries during her training, was one of three who did not complete the course during the first of two runs in the Giant Slalom event.
“Though our first run didn’t end the way we would have liked, we are thrilled for what we accomplished this season,” Ball wrote in a Facebook message shortly after the event ended.
She entered the event ranked seventh in the world after having won the 2012 Paralympics U.S. Championship.
“Thank you to everyone out there supporting us,” Ball’s statement continued. “We could feel the love all the way over here in Russia.”
Ball said she was not allowed to speak directly with press while the Sochi games were ongoing.
The Sochi dreams of Ball and her guide, Diane Barras, of Bethel, took a blow when Ball suffered a leg fracture and a torn knee ligament in late December, while training in Colorado.
Ball resumed her training on January 29, wearing a leg brace.
Ball wasn’t the only one to suffer hardship on the course, as top-ranked Melissa Perrine, of Australia, was disqualified after using a set of unapproved goggles.
A tenth skier, Great Britain’s Jade Etherington, a four-time medalist, withdrew from the event due to illness.
Henrietta Farkasova, of Slovakia, won the gold with a combined finish time over two runs of 2:48:63, while Aleksandra Frantceva and Jessica Gallagher, both of Australia, netted the silver and gold medals, respectively.
The top-finishing US competitor was New Jersey native Staci Mannella, whose time of 3:10.77 put her in sixth place among the six athletes who successfully completed the course.