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Concussion Dangers on the Sochi Slopes

This year’s winter Olympics will feature plenty of death-defying feats as skiers and snowboarders speed downhill or launch into the air, flipping and spinning, to compete in half-pipe and slopestyle events.

However, these dangerous tricks and trips down the mountain come with a real threat. Experts say that the bigger the jumps and flips, and the higher the downhill speeds, the greater the chance of concussion or other traumatic brain injury that could leave the athletes at risk for long-term problems.

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Concussion specialist may begin new era in Sochi

In another sign of the growing concern about head trauma in sports, 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 on the slopes in Russia.

U.S. ski team medical director Kyle Wilkens said Kutcher will be the association’s first specialist evaluating and treating concussions during the Winter Olympics.

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