The Winter Olympic games at Sochi have been plagued by poor construction and design from the beginning. The 53 billion dollar price tag has done little to create a complete or comfortable environment for either athlete or spectator. While many of the problems have been fodder for social media and late night comedians the latest design flaw has proved fatal.
It happened during the biathlon. For those unfamiliar with the sport, biathlon combines cross country skiing and shooting targets with a high-powered rifle. The competitor must be both a skilled skier, capable of keeping up an incredible pace and an expert marksman, with the ability to steady his nerves and slow his heart-rate enough to hit ten targets that are the size of a golf ball.
Sadly, there was a horrible design flaw on the biathlon course. The targets for the shooting segment of the course were placed directly below the spectator stands. During the initial qualifying heats of the competition several missed or ricochet shots went into the cheering crowd.
In all, five spectators were hit before race officials had the targets moved. The Russian government has been trying to keep the story quiet to avoid any more controversy. All tapes of the incident have been confiscated from news outlets. But the story spread like wildfire through the Olympic village.
According to sources within the village the two fatalities were an Albanian mother and son. Witnesses said the six-year-old boy was hit first and the mother was struck when she threw herself over him in an attempt to protect the child.