Former U.S. Ski Team member Ani Haas found herself on the wrong side of a female black bear and her two cubs while running on a trail near her home in Missoula, Mont. last Friday.
The 24-year-old freestyle skier told NBC Today’s Ann Curry that she initially tried to sprint away, but was forced to fight the wild animal when she realised she could not outrun it.
The bear growled and lunged at Haas’ chest and left arm. The athlete sprung into action by repeatedly striking the bear in the face and chucking a rock at it. The bear eventually lost interest, Haas says.
After the attack, Haas ran three miles back to her car and drove herself to the hospital.
Watch Haas recount the entire harrowing tale here:
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