KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- An Olympic track worker struck by a bobsled broke both legs and may have a concussion, IOC officials said Thursday.
The worker was on the track when he
was hit by a forerunning sled near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center,
just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled
Bach added that the worker "maybe" has a concussion.
Later, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told
the AP: "I understand he is conscious and talking and has two broken
"According to standard procedure, a warning signal was given ahead of the forerunners' bob beginning its run on the track," Sochi organizers said in a statement released more than three hours after the accident. "The reasons for the icemaker's presence on the track after the warning signal are currently being determined."
Also, officials said the luge team
relay event scheduled to make its Olympic debut on Thursday will take place as
remained in the start area during the delay, well away from the crash location.
It's also unclear why the worker was on the track when the sled came out the final curve and approached the finish line. The sled that struck him was the second "forerunner" used before the training session.
Loudspeakers in the finish-deck area
were working during training after the crash, though there has been at least
one incident when the public-address system at the facility - an absolutely
critical part of the track's safety plan - failed.
In turn, it also tells people in the finish area that a sled is on the way.
"We didn't really know what was going on," USA Luge coach Mark Grimmette said in November, when detailing how training was interrupted.
The Sochi track was designed to be safer following the death of luger Nodar Kumarishtavili in an accident hours before the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Games four years ago. There have been no major mishaps during any of the competition so far, and athletes have been complimentary of the track's condition.
"To be honest, the ice is phenomenal," U.S. skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender said following the first two heats of the women's competition, several hours before the mishap. "It's better than it was in training and whoever they got working on the ice, kudos, because they are doing Olympic level work on the track. It is fast and it's fun."
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.