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Featured Image Credit: Alamy
By Ryan Rosendale
The Winter Olympic Games has been home to many horrific and heartbreaking injuries over the years.
Here, we countdown the 10 worst Winter Olympics injuries of all-time.
10. John Tavares knee injury - 2014 Sochi Games
New York Islander's fans were left heartbroken during the 2014 Sochi Games when their NHL darling suffered a meniscus injury to his left knee that was so severe he was forced to sit out the remainder of the NHL season. The injury occurred when, during the first match of the Games, Tavares banged his knee against the leg of an opposing player from Latvia before slamming it into the boards.
09. Ronja Savolainen - 2018 PyeongChang Games
Finnish ice hockey player Ronja Savolainen suffered a brutal injury during the 2018 PyeongChang Games when she crashed into United States opponent Meghan Duggan and slid head-first into the sideboards during the Ice Hockey Women Play-off Semi-finals. The crash was a nasty one with Duggan's injury causing her to be subbed out of the semi-final.
08. Mons Roisland - 2018 PyeongChang Games
Norwegian snowboarder Mons Roisland broke his chest bone and tore ligaments in his shoulder in what he described "the heaviest crash" of his life, during a practice session at the 2018 PyeongChang Games. In a later Instagram post, he said while it "sucks not being able to compete in big air", he was happy to home and recovering.
07. Emily Arthur - 2018 PyeongChang Games
Australian snowboarder Emily Arthur was enjoying a terrific debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, making it all the way to the women's half-pipe final, before injury struck. Arthur fell face first after performing a back side 540-degree rotation. She would land before she toppled over into the snow, standing up moments later with blood pouring from her nose. Arthur would finish 11th overall in the final but her courage and determination would win her fans across the globe.
06. J.R. Celski's thigh gash - 2010 Vancouver Games
American J.R. Celski is an experienced short-track speed skater who, while competing at the 2010 Vancouver Games, suffered a nasty and major injury in a trial run leading up to the Games. Celski's right skate blade punctured his left thigh during a tumble around a corner. The blade sliced a muscle in half, causing blood to pore from his leg into the ice. Thankfully, the gash missed his femoral artery with Celski requiring 60 stiches before he would go onto win two gold just months later in Vancouver.
05. Nancy Kerrigan's leg injury - 1994 Lillehammer Games
Easily the most well-known injury on this list, figure skating darling Nancy Kerrigan was injured in the lead-up to the 1994 Lillehammer Games when her American teammate and rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband and bodyguard hired a hitman to strike Kerrigan's leg in the hopes of hindering her skating performance. The hitman deployed a collapsible baton at a training session to join the US Olympic team. While Kerrigan didn't suffer any broken bones and was able to compete in Lillehammer, it was an injury that really didn't need to happen given it was caused by another individual and not during competition.
04. Kevin Pearce's brain injury - 2010 Vancouver Games
American snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered the most horrific injuries the Winter Games has ever seen during the 2010 Vancouver Games. Pearce was favoured to medal during the event but during a training run in Park City, Utah, Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury and would spend a week in a coma before a 26-day stint in the ICU. Pearce would recover from the injury and while he would be able to strap his snowboard to his feet again, he would not be able to compete professionally in the sport again.
03. Markus Schairer's broken neck - 2018 PyeongChang Games
Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer was struck down with injury during the men's snowboard cross quarterfinals during the 2018 PyeongChang Games when he lost control coming off a jump. Schairer wasn't able to land board first, instead ending up perpendicular to his line and would come down on his back with his head bouncing back so hard that his goggles broke loose. Despite the horrific injury and a broken cervical vertebra, Schairer would rise to his feet and finish the race and would suffer no neurological damage.
02. Nodar Kumaritashvili's fatal accident - 2010 Vancouver Games
One of the Winter Games most thrilling but dangerous events has always been the luge with many injuries taking place on the dangerous track across the Games history. The worst of these was a fatal incident when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili careened off the track during a training run at the 2010 Vancouver Games and died of his injuries. It became the second luge related death at the Games.
01. Nicolas Bochatay's fatal accident - 1992 Albertville Games
In one of the Winter Olympics worst moments, Swiss skier Nicolas Bochatay was warming up with his teammates and coaches when tragedy struck. Bochatay would hit his warmup jump at top speed and would crash land before skidding into a parked snowplough. Witnesses claimed the height of the jump hid the snowplough for view and due to the injuries he sustained, Bochatay died at the scene, just three hours before competition was due to begin.