Halfpipe skier Simon d'Artois injured in fall

Associated Press
Simon d'Artois, of Canada, is aided by emergency personnel after he crash during the halfpipe freestyle skiing competition at the U.S. Grand Park, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Park City, Utah (AP Photo/George Frey)

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Canadian halfpipe skier Simon d'Artois has been airlifted to a hospital after falling hard on his head and shoulder.

U.S. Grand Prix spokeswoman Krista Parry says d'Artois was awake and alert Saturday.

D'Artois fell near the end of the 22-foot superpipe and slid to the bottom. He was wearing a neck brace as he was taken off the hill on a medical sled. He flashed a "rock on" sign with his right hand.

Five of the 12 men in the finals fell Saturday. France's Benoit Valentin appeared to injure his left knee.

Canadian freestyle pioneer Sarah Burke crashed on the same halfpipe last year while training and died a week later from the injuries.

The dangers of winter action sports came into focus again this week when freestyle snowmobile rider Caleb Moore died after a crash at the Winter X Games.