Sochi ice track worker struck by forerunning bobsled
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — An Olympic track worker struck by a bobsled suffered a broken leg and "maybe a concussion," IOC President Thomas Bach told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The worker was hit by a forerunning sled in the braking area near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.
"We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened," Bach said in a visit to the AP office in Sochi. "The information we have so far is that he has a broken leg and maybe a concussion. We are following up on this matter."
IOC spokesman Mark Adams later told the AP: "I understand he is conscious and talking and has two broken legs."
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The session was delayed at the start for about 35 minutes. Officials at the track did not immediately release any information about the worker's condition, though an ambulance was seen leaving the track shortly after the accident.
A work crew was seen repairing a light fixture that was suspended several feet over the ice surface, as well as picking up pieces of debris from the finish area. Olympic athletes remained in the start area, well away from the crash location, during the delay.
Forerunning sleds are used before training and competition sessions to assess track conditions and make sure the facility is safe for racing. Also, people in the vicinity of the track are almost always alerted that a sled is in the track through public-address announcements, though it was unclear why the worker struck Thursday was unaware that the session was beginning.
In 2005, U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace was struck by a bobsled in the outrun of a track in Canada, shattering a leg and ultimately causing her to miss the 2006 Turin Olympics. The Sanki track was designed with several safety initiatives in mind after Georgian slider Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a luge training accident at the Whistler Sliding Center just hours before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Embedded video_content_type: Cheat Sheet: Bobsled
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