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Fourth-Place Medal

Worker who was struck by bobsled broke both legs and suffered concussion; officials asking what went wrong

Sam Cooper
Fourth-Place Medal

The Russian worker who was struck by a speeding bobsled on Thursday underwent surgery on two broken legs and was “conscious and in stable condition” on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

The man was struck when a sled was sent down the track at the Sanki Sliding Center to “make sure conditions were suitable” for two-man bobsled training sessions. The worker, who remains unidentified, broke both of his legs and also suffered a concussion. An Olympic official told the AP that the man was doing well.

“The operation went smoothly,” Sochi organizing committee spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina said Friday. “He’s conscious. He’s stable. He’s good right now.”

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Video of the incident was viewed by officials and showed three men working near the finish line. The bobsled came barreling toward them and two of the men rushed out of the way. The injured worker was reportedly using a motorized air blower, and officials who are investigating the incident suspect that “the workers could not hear any announcement that a sled was coming down the track.”

“We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

In a statement released more than three hours after the accident, Sochi organizers said that a “warning signal was given” before the sled began its run on the track.

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The loudspeaker system near the finish area was reported to be working effectively after the crash, but there has been “at least one incident” when the public address system failed. This incident took place during a November training session after electricity was lost.

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