12 Examples Of Just How Dangerous The Winter Olympics Can Be

Shaun White caused quite a stir this week when he pulled out of the slopestyle snowboarding competition because he deemed the course to be unsafe.

While some have doubted White’s claims, it remains true that the Winter Olympics are extremely dangerous competition that often ends in serious injury and on a few occasions athletes have been killed.

Already in Sochi this year, a snowboardered crashed so hard her helmet broke.

On the next few pages we will take a look at some examples of just how dangerous the games can be.

Three-time Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern of Austria will somehow compete in the Sochi Olympics despite this horrific crash just one month ago.

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Lindsey Vonn crashed so badly at the World Championships that she needed to be airlifted off the course, needed surgery on her knee, and ultimately was unable to compete in the Olympics.

Source: USA Today

One day after Shaun White was criticised for pulling out of the slopestyle competition, Norwegian snowboarder Kjersti Buaas crashed headfirst on the same course.

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Three-time Olympic champion Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands suffered several broken bones in this speed skating collision and couldn't compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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Source: AFP

Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia passed away at the 2010 Winter Olympics when his luge sled crashed going 90 mph. He was one of four athletes who have been killed during Winter Olympics.

Nodar Kumaritashvili's sled sits on the track

Source: New York Times

While we tend to think of downhill as the dangerous version of skiing, Johan Brolenius of Sweden was left bloodied in 2006 after competing in the slalom.

German figure skaters Ingo Steuer and Mandy Woetzel suffered many injuries in their careers including six knee surgeries for him, multiple concussions for her, and a nasty spill that cut their routine short in 1994.

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Source: New York Times

The danger isn't a new consequence of modern day speeds. In 1936 two Italians were injured when their bobsled catapulted out of the track.

Bobsleds no longer eject from the track, but they do occasionally flip over while travelling at high speeds.

And there's hockey, an extreme-contact sport.

How many other competitions have athletes that have to avoid stray, possibly angry, dogs?

Source: Sport Express

Finally, there is the biathlon, which is cross country skiing...WITH GUNS.

Now check out some of the American women that could make a splash in Sochi.

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