"Grandma Luge" out

Break "Grandma Luge" out
By Reuters

13/02/2006 at 13:07Updated

The oldest woman at the Turin Games, Anne Abernathy, has pulled out of the Olympics because of a broken wrist. The 52-year-old luge competitor from the U.S. Virgin Islands, competing in her sixth Olympics, fractured her right wrist and broke the right run

The injury means Abernathy, affectionately known as "Grandma Luge", will not take part in the two-day women's singles competition starting later on Monday.

Abernathy made history at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, becoming the oldest woman to compete at Winter Games at the age of 48.

The previous oldest women's competitor was Canadian Edwina Chamier, who was 45 when she took part in the Alpine skiing combined event in 1936.

The resilient Abernathy won a battle against cancer, overcame a string of injuries, underwent knee surgery 12 times and saw a hurricane destroy her home in St Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Abernathy was not the only 52-year-old entered at the Olympic luge competition. Werner Hoeger, an university professor from Venezuela who came 32nd in the men's singles competition on Sunday, is also 52.

The oldest competitor of the Turin Games is the 54-year old Scott Baird, an alternate in the American men's curling team.