Father of injured Portland skier says 'she was thinking 2018 was her year'

Jacqueline Wiles father, David, and her brother, Steele, watched the event live online. (KATU Photo)

A Portland skier set to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea suffered a serious leg injury during a competition in Germany, just days before the games begin.

Jacqueline Wiles, 25, lost control in a turn at the World Cup in Germany on Saturday and slid into a safety net off-course.

Wiles -- who initially thought the injury was minor -- suffered a torn ACL, MCL and fractured fibula.

Her father, David, and her brother, Steele, told KATU they were devastated. David says he watched the event live online.

"It was tough to watch," David Wiles said. "What makes this especially difficult is that she was skiing so well... she had podium potential."

The timing, unfortunately, is poor.

She was scheduled to compete in the Downhill event later this month and qualified for the Super-G and Alpine Combined events in South Korea.

"She was thinking 2018 was her year," David said, "and 2022 was in the future."

The Wiles family said she was doing some of her best skiing to date. Fans turned out in Europe to watch her compete before the Olympics. Coaches and those in the ski industry expected her to make the podium.

"The hardest part is to see how far she has come," her brother Steele said. "It still hasn't settled in yet."

Steele and Jacqueline grew up skiing on Mount Hood, first at Cooper Spur, then Mt. Hood Meadows.

"She just wanted to go fast," David said, watching a home video of the two when Jacqueline was four and Steele, six.

Jacqueline continued to ski. She entered races and won. She earned national and international attention in world competitions and finished 26th in the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Friend and teammate Lindsey Vonn told The Associated Press she was devastated by the injury.

"It was really hard to actually be happy and excited and celebrate because Jackie is in the hospital," said Vonn. "It's a really rough day for the whole team."

Wiles is flying home from Germany with a team doctor. She is scheduled to arrive overnight Tuesday.

David said Jacqueline will likely be in rehab for months before she can return to the slopes, which she says is her goal.

"Typical Jacqueline, she was not happy with the fact that she didn't finish," David said of the race. "I have no doubt that emotionally and mentally, she will make the adjustment, but it won't be easy, and she won't be able to do it without some assistance from her family, from us."

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