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Olympics

Who Would Have Thought Careening Down A Track Made Of Ice At 80 Miles Per Hour Would Be Dangerous?

bobsled

Sometimes, even in bobsledding, despite a person’s drive to soldier on, to compete in one more event, it is a wise move to face facts and call it a career. As they say, all good things come to an end. Especially when bleeding on the brain is involved.

That is just the conclusion that U.S. Olympic bobsledder Todd Hays has had to come to terms with this week, as he announced his retirement from bobsledding after being diagnosed with intraparenchymal hematoma, which is characterized by the bleeding of the brain tissue. Seems like a smart move.

Originally thought to be only a concussion, Hays injured himself during a training run in Germany last Wednesday. Obviously, the 40-year-old Hays,  who was trying to qualify for his fourth Olympic team, is profoundly disappointed by the turn of events. Heh. Turn.

“This isn’t how I wanted to end my career, and I’m devastated because I feel like I’m letting my team down,” Hays said Monday night in a statement released by the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. “There are three guys in my sled that were counting on me to give them an Olympic ticket. Now I can’t do that.”

As devastated as Hays may be, it’s a wise move to not put himself (and his brain) in any further jeopardy. Doctors have advised Hays that “additional trauma to a healing brain … may cause irreversible damage.”

So now we have to add bobsledding to the list of sports where serious brain injuries can occur. What’s next? Is the world of Competitive Whippit Inhaling going to get rocked with a brain injury controversy next? Please say it isn’t so. I was just about to turn pro.

Bobsledder Hays retires after tests find bleeding in brain [USA Today/AP]