By Stacy St. Clair, Tribune Olympic Bureau
3:52 AM PST, February 14, 2014
SOCHI, Russia -- A track worker who was hit by a bobsled Thursday was in stable condition Friday after having surgery on his two broken legs, Sochi organizers said.
"The operation went smoothly,” Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Aleksandra Kosterina said. “He is conscious so right now he is stable. Everything is good right now.”
A video of the incident shows three workers walking on the track as the bobsled barreled toward the finish line at the start of training runs at the Sanki Sliding Center. Two were able to jump out of the way in time, but the third – an icemaker – was hit by the sleigh and thrown several feet.
It’s unclear why the men were on the track when the sled – the forerunner that takes the first ride down to prepare the ice for racing – began its run. Organizers have said a warning call was given before the bob left the gate.
The driver was not injured.
“We’re still looking into what exactly happened there so it is a little bit premature to say why he was on the track after the alert went on," Kosterina said.
Paramedics could be seen working on the man at the finish line before he was taken away by ambulance. He suffered two broken legs and a possible concussion, officials said.
The accident delayed the official start of training for the two-man race by about half an hour. Some athletes knew of the situation, but said they tried to block it out of their minds during their runs.
"We were made aware of that at the start, Maximilian Arndt of Germany said after training. ‘This must not happen. Going on the track after that you try to get this out of your head."
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