Men's Downhill Begins With a Bloody Crash - NBC Bay Area
Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Men's Downhill Begins With a Bloody Crash

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    The first starter in the last training run for the men's Olympic downhill, Rok Perko of Slovenia, crashed Saturday, leaving blood on his face and in the snow.

    Two spots later, Brice Roger of France fell and seriously injured his right knee, tearing ligaments and breaking a bone, coach Patrice Morisod said.

    "There was no problem with the course. It's a mistake and that is how it happens sometimes," Morisod said.

    Guillermo Fayed will replace Roger for France in Sunday's race.

    Slovenia's Alpine director, Dusan Blazic, said Perko was taken by car to the athletes village for medical tests.

    "Everything is hurting now, but the main problem now is the face and nose," Blazic said. "It looks like he might have broken nose. I doubt he'll race tomorrow."

    Perko landed awkwardly, with his skis splayed, coming off a little jump about 1½ minutes into his session, a day before the first Alpine medal race of the Sochi Games. After a few minutes, he got up and walked away.

    When Perko fell, his skis detached from his boots and went flying. He slid down the hill, then hunched on his knees and leaned forward, his head resting on his gloves.

    The next starter, Marco Sullivan of the United States, also had problems, but felt fortunate to stay upright and ski to the finish.

    "I just let my mind lapse for a second, and all of a sudden (my) skis hit together," Sullivan said, describing what happened as "a close call."

    In all, 10 of 55 starters Saturday failed to finish.