TAUPLITZ, Austria -- Three-time Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern of Austria was hospitalized with undisclosed injuries Friday after crashing during training for a ski flying World Cup this weekend.
Morgenstern lost his balance in the air, turned over to the left and landed on his back and head. He briefly lost consciousness but was able to speak shortly afterward.
"Fortunately he was responsive, Thomas can move arms and legs. That's very important," team physician Herbert Leitner said. "He asked me what happened."
Morgenstern received first aid on the hill and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Salzburg, coach Alexander Pointner said.
"We can only hope for the best," Pointner said. "This really hurts because we are all very close. Thomas is the heart of this team."
It's the second heavy crash for Morgenstern in the Olympic season, after he smashed on the snow following a jump at the World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, on Dec. 15.
The 27-year-old Morgenstern suffered several bruises, face cuts and a broken finger from that mishap, but he recovered quickly and finished runner-up to fellow Austrian Thomas Diethart in the Four Hills Tour last week.
Earlier Friday, Morgenstern landed after 196.5 meters in his first training jump on the Kulm, one of the five largest ski flying hills in the world.
Morgenstern won Olympic gold in the individual competition and the team event in 2006, and again in the team event four years later. He has won 23 individual World Cups and took the overall title in 2008 and 2011.