KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Shaun White saw the glassy sheen of the super-steep takeoff and knew something bad was coming.
He fell and jammed his left wrist — adding another nagging injury to his long list of bumps and bruises while also joining the growing list of athletes falling victim to a treacherous Olympic slopestyle course.
"A little intimidating," he called the course after Tuesday's training. "It's been a challenge."
Through two days of practice runs in the Russian mountains above Sochi, the course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park has already taken out one the favorites. Torstein Horgmo of Norwaybroke a collarbone while riding through the rails Monday. On Tuesday, Marika Enne of Finland fell hard and hit her head at the end of her run. She was taken off on a stretcher with a concussion. Slopestyle qualifying begins Thursday with White trying to win the first of two gold medals at this year's Olympics.
CONCUSSION EXPERTS aT GAMES: The NHL and the U.S. ski team will each have at least one concussion expert at the Sochi Olympics. Dr. Jeff Kutcher, a Michigan-based neurologist, will be in one of two hockey arenas and the on-hill physician for three events. U.S. ski team medical director Kyle Wilkens said Kutcher will be the association's first specialist evaluating and treating concussions. Kutcher will also evaluate about 150 NHL players from all 12 countries in the Olympics. Dr. Ruben Echemendia, a neuropsychologist and chair of the NHL's concussion program, will also be at the Olympics.
LOW CONFIDENCE IN SECURITY: Just over half of Americans surveyed plan to watch or follow the Winter Olympics, according to an Associated Press-GfK Poll, and one-third of respondents say they have only a little or no confidence about Russia's ability to safeguard safety. The likely audience for the Olympics is on the older side, with 65 percent age 50 or over planning to follow the event compared with 47 percent among younger adults, according to the survey, conducted from Jan. 17-21. Just 19 percent of respondents are extremely or very confident Russia will protect the Olympics from terrorist attacks, 46 percent are somewhat confident and 33 percent just a little or not at all confident.
AUSTRIANS RECEIVE KIDNAP THREAT: The Austrian Olympic Committee says its Vienna office has received an anonymous letter from Russia containing a kidnap threat against Alpine skier Marlies Schild and skeleton pilot Janine Flock during the Sochi Games. Schild, who won silver in slalom in Vancouver four years ago, is set to compete in her fourth Olympics. Flock, who is set to make her first Olympic appearance, won the European skeleton title last month.