According to a press release from US SAILING, U.S. Sailing Team member Kimberly Birkenfeld, 37, of Miami, was injured by a motorboat propeller in Athens, Greece. The accident occurred this morning local time as Birkenfeld, a Mistral sailor, was training for the upcoming Athens 2002 Regatta, a pre-Olympic event. The press release continues to states that Birkenfeld was undergoing surgery as of Thursday afternoon (EST) and that US SAILING is in close contact with her family.
Birkenfeld, a later comer to the sport of sailing, has competed in the Mistral class in the past two U.S. Olympic Trials. She finished third in 2000 behind three-time Olympian Lanee Butler and Cara Reid.