The host Italian Olympic team has suffered a blow just days before the start of the Turin Games, with the loss of two ski jumpers.
Marco Beltrame and Stefano Chiapolino were seriously injured Tuesday during pre-Olympic training at Predazzo. The 19-year-old Beltrame was admitted to a local hospital, in Belluno where he had his spleen removed. Chiapolino was treated at another hospital, in Cavalese. The 20-year-old Olympic teammate had several small fractures to his face and a slight concussion.
With the loss of two of its five ski jumpers, the Italian Olympic team will not be able to field a four-person squad in the team event on February 20.
Opening ceremonies for the Games are Friday. The Olympics run through February 26. Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.