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Blame it on the Bobslead

In an odd turn of events, an Olympic ice track worker was hit by a racing bobsled. near the end The Sanki sliding center is located in the high mountains of Rzhanaya Polyana, which loosely translates in English to "the most dangerous place on Earth."

Sadly, this isn't the first accident to take place at an Olympic Sliding center. A much more tragic accident occured in Vancouver 2010 during a pre-event training run. Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died after flying off the track at a blistering 89 mph, subsequently hitting a steel pillar. Concerns had been raised by athletes and coaches prior to the games. After the accident, the course was shortened thus reducing the speed of the athletes.

Even more striking, is the fact that this wasn't the first fatality on an Olympic sliding track. In 1964, at the Innsbruck Olympic Games, a British athlete was killed.

Olympic officials, including IOC President Thomas Bach, are now investigating how an accident like this could happen, when preventative measures have been taken given the dangerous history of the sport.

On a personal note, I attended most of the luge and bobsled competition rounds in Vancouver in 2010 and can attest to the insane speeds these athletes reach racing down the course. However, I can also say with a certain amount of authority, the course is heavily guarded by railings (to prevent spectators from getting to close to the track) and alarm systems that indicate when and where the luge or bobsled is at any given point on the track.

At this point, it has been reported that the unnamed ice worker has broken both legs and suffered a concussion. Sources say he was on the track to fix a broken light fixture on the track and that the alarm systems, put in place to prevent accidents like this, simply failed to work. This is a very sad and preventable accident. Additionally, it highlights that though many of the ammenities that journalists and athletes have complained about in terms of hospitality are shoddy at best, IOC officials need to start examining the actual infrastructure of the Olympic venues. This accident sheads some very serious light on what started out as a lighthearted trend on twitter. #SochiProblems indeed!

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