Injured bobsled worker in stable condition after surgery

February 14, 2014

A track worker is loaded into an ambulance after he was hit by a forerunner bobsled on Thursday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

From the Associated Press:

The Russian ice worker struck by a speeding bobsled was conscious and in stable condition Friday after undergoing surgery on two broken legs, Olympic organizers said.

IOC and Sochi officials said they are still investigating why the worker was on the track and didn’t hear the warning signals about the sled approaching.

A forerunning sled — sent down the track to make sure conditions were suitable for two-man training — crashed into the worker Thursday near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center.

The unidentified worker broke both legs and was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery late Thursday.

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

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: “We all wish him a speedy recovery.”

Officials declined to give the man’s identity or more details of his injuries, citing issues of medical privacy.

Sliding officials who reviewed video of Thursday’s incident saw three men working near the finish line, two of them scurrying over the wall as the bobsled neared. The investigation centers on suspicions the workers could not hear any warnings that a sled was coming down the track.

One possibility was that the injured worker, who was using a motorized air blower, simply may not have been able to hear any announcement.

“We’re still looking into what exactly happened there, so it’s really premature to say why he was on the track after the alert went on,” Kosterina said. ‘So we’re still looking into that.”

The accident occurred just before two-man training runs on Thursday:

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