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Olympian Daron Rahlves in Lake Placid (Photo: NPR's Graham Smith)
Olympian Daron Rahlves in Lake Placid (Photo: NPR's Graham Smith)

Olympic preview: ski cross thrilling... and unsafe?

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The Winter Olympics open Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and this year, ski cross will make its debut. The sport has been a favorite of the Winter X Games. Skiers come out of the gates four at a time, competing for space on the narrow, twisty half-mile course and jockeying for position. They finish in about 50 seconds and get up to speeds of 50 mph, with lots of twists and turns and bumps and jumps along the way. But the sport is also controversial. At the Nature Valley World Cup ski cross final in Lake Placid, N.Y. last month, a skier from France was paralyzed from the waist down. NPR's Melissa Block has our story.

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Ski cross at Whiteface. (Photo: Nancie Battaglia)

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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