The Winter Olympics has had its share of slips, crashes and close calls. It’s really no surprise considering every sport in the Winter Games involves snow or ice. While sometimes they can be serious or dangerous, others can be a little humorous.
It was a close call for American Luger Emily Sweeney on February 13th. Sweeney was careening around Curve 9 of the luge, the most dangerous curve of the track, when she lost control. She slid feet-first up another curve toward the track roof before she was thrown from her sled and tumbled to a stop. The crowd watched the monitors in horror as they waited in silence waiting for a sign that Sweeney was alright.
After several minutes, she finally got to her feet and eventually was able to slowly walk to the finish area. There she was met by her team and on-site medical personel. Sweeney avoided serious injury, but it knocked her out of the Pyeongchang Olympics during the final heat of the competition.
Kyle Mack was having a phenomenal run during the slopestyle qualifier, he was in 11th place and headed nicely to 6th place. On Saturday afternoon he had one last chance to qualify for the finals. As the fans chanted “USA! USA!” Kyle thought “I got this” and he started. On the last jump of the run, he got caught up in the wind and couldn’t land his jump. Unfortunately, he crashed and came in 23rd place. Kyle wasn’t down for long however, he hugged his parents and suggested they go out for burgers. He stated he was ready for a little break before he races in Big Air, a new event which will be held at the end of the Olympics.
Icy Halfpipe Crash
Japanese snowboarder Yuto Totsuka was taken to the hospital after he crashed into an icy halfpipe at high speeds. He was attempting an ambitious routine including a somersault twist when he landed dangerously on his back. He then slid a few meters on the snow and ground to a halt. He escaped serious injury, but was taken to the hospital for treatment on his hip.
Tommy Biesmeyer USA was on his way to his Olympic debut in Peyongchang, but his dream was dashed due to a training injury on Wednesday. The day before he was scheduled for his first competitive run down the Olympic slope. An ankle injury forced him to withdraw from the race and you could feel the pain in his words when he said, “I wonder why this happens. It’s hard not to think if there is a deeper meaning to it all. You are supposed to be optimistic in times like these and say something like, ‘I will come back stronger than ever.’ But I just can’t bring myself to do it.” This is the third time he’s had to let his Olympic dream go. In the build up to the 2010 games, he was injured. Back on track for the 2014 Games, he tore his ACL, MCL, lateral meniscus and medial meniscus at a World Cup event.