KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — A forerunning sled struck a worker near the finish line of the track being used for sliding races at the Sochi Olympics, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training at the Sanki Sliding Center.
Training was delayed for about 35 minutes before getting underway. Officials did not immediately release any information about the worker's condition, though an ambulance was seen leaving the track shortly after the incident.
A work crew was seen repairing a light fixture that was suspended several feet over the ice surface, as well as picking up pieces of debris from the finish area. Olympic athletes remained in the start area, well away from the crash location, during the delay.
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Forerunning sleds are used before training and competition sessions to assess track conditions and make sure the facility is safe for racing. Also, people in the vicinity of the track are almost always alerted that a sled is in the track through public-address announcements, though it was unclear why the worker struck Thursday was unaware that the session was beginning.
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 because of the injury. And the Sanki track was designed with several safety initiatives in mind after Georgian slider Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a luge training accident at the Whistler Sliding Center just hours before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.