March 5 - An Alpine skier who was talked out his plans to retire for a final hurrah has been injured in a crash just hours after being chosen to carry the Paralympic flag for Australia at the Opening Ceremony of his fourth Winter Games.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula is having X-rays, according to the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), after falling during a training run for the downhill event.
It is reported he fell on the steepest part of the course in Sochi.
Rahles-Rahbula was set to pack away his skis after September's International Paralympic Committee World Cup meet in Thredbo in Australia.
But after picking up a gold and a silver medal, the 30-year-old was talked into joining his team-mates in Sochi for the Paralympics by the APC.
Rahles-Rahbula, who was set to retire to spend more time with his wife Emily and two-year-old son Archie, agreed as long as he was able to stay at home in Geelong for the summer before meeting the team in Europe two weeks ago.
"It wasn't something I was expecting," he said of his selection as flagbearer before the accident.
"I was just rapt to be here to be honest.
"The team has been a great support for me, and to be able to say farewells on the big stage, that was really the goal of Sochi.
The skier, who lost his left leg to a rare form of bone cancer at the age of 14, won double bronze at the Vancouver 2010 Games
He will, injuries permitting, lead out an Australian team looking to better the single silver and three bronze medals won four years ago.
Rahles-Rahbula said he is delighted to have his family in Sochi to watch him compete in his last Paralympics.
"I'm going to have my little boy here," he said.
"I know he won't remember it but I'll remember having him screaming from the side.
"Whether I come away with a medal or fall on my arse, I'll be happy."
The Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Paralympics is due on Friday (March 7), ahead of nine days of competition.
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