Snowboarder is injured in ''Late Show'' stunt. After the X Game medallist's fall, Letterman cancels his Thursday broadcast and visits her in the hospital

By Gary Susman
Updated February 06, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Hey, kids, don’t try this at home. Veteran snowboarder Tara Dakides suffered a head injury Thursday when she fell at least 15 feet to the pavement during a street stunt being taped for ”The Late Show with David Letterman.” Letterman scrapped the show and scheduled a rerun in its place, then visited Dakides at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, where doctors had stitched up her head wound. Dakides, who recently earned a silver medal at the 2004 X Games, was apparently in good spirits. ”The only thing I am upset about is that the French judge only gave me a 5.6,” she quipped.

Dakides had successfully completed the jump, between two ramps set up on the street outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, twice on Thursday afternoon, according to the New York Daily News. Before the third try, Letterman said, ”Be careful,” adding, ”I’m surprised you’re doing this without a helmet.” ”Me too,” said the 28-year-old athlete, though she never wears a helmet, even in competition. During the third try, she lost her balance and fell 15 feet, according to the Daily News. (The Associated Press reported that she fell 25 feet.) ”It was a freak accident,” Dakides’ spokeswoman said. ”Now that she’s received her stitches and a visit from Dave, she’s ready to get back on the slopes.” She may even return to the ”Late Show” as soon as Monday, the Daily News reported.

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