Vancouver's catalogue of woe

The Vancouver Winter Olympics has had its share of problems since starting last weekend - we look at a selection of them.



The 21-year-old Georgian luger tragically lost his life at the Whistler Sliding Centre after crashing at high speed on a pre-Games training run and colliding with a steel fixture.


Kumaritashvili's death prompted event organisers to lower both the men and women's starts, ultimately slowing down the course for all athletes. German luger Natalie Geisenberger called it a course for kids following the changes.


Organisers abandoned their ultra-green image at the new environmentally-friendly arena and brought in a propane-powered Zamboni to replace a faulty battery-operated ice resurfacer, which had caused delays to speed skating events.


Dubbed "the blackest day ever" by the International Biathlon Union's Norbert Baier, organisers were left red-faced after holding back three women competing in the 10km in error and sending two men in the 12.5km out too early. In each case, the times were later adjusted.


With the eyes of the world watching Vancouver's opening ceremony, equipment in the BC Centre failed to function leaving one arm of the Olympic cauldron stuck in the ground and torch bearer Wayne Gretzky looking nervous.


The Olympic cauldron attracted more bad publicity after organisers stuck a chain-link fence around the structure, denying thousands the chance to get a proper look.


Heavy rain and a lack of snow forced organisers to rip up thousands of tickets destined for events to be held on Cypress Mountain. Around 28,000 fans were denied the chance to attend after rain had made standing areas too unstable.


Warmest weather on record in Vancouver left Cypress Mountain with depleted snow levels, reducing athletes training time at the venue. Similarly in Whistler, Alpine skiing events have been postponed due to both heavy snow and heavy rain.


Australian skier Craig Branch narrowly missed colliding with a course worker in the men's Olympic downhill event, after the staff member lost balance and toppled on to the course.

The worker failed to leave the piste in time but Branch hurtled safely past him, more by luck than judgment.

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