Committee Declares Ski Site Safe

Posted: February 27, 1988

CALGARY — Two major skiing accidents at Mount Allan have left one man dead, one local high school student in a coma, and one man treated and released for shock. A third accident left U.S. skier Pam Fletcher with a broken leg - before her competition - when she collided with a volunteer course worker.

Yesterday, the day after Dr. Jorg Oberhammer, an Austrian team surgeon, was killed after falling into the path of a snow-grooming vehicle, the Calgary organizing committee was forced to defend the safety of its mountain.

"In very firm terms, we have been assured that the safety conditions on the hill were not only standard, but in some areas exceeded the standard," said Bill Payne, a spokesman for the organizing committee.

On Thursday, Oberhammer and another skier collided, and Oberhammer was knocked into the path of the giant course-grooming vehicle. Oberhammer was killed instantly, officials said. They added that the driver of the vehicle had more than 7,000 hours of operating experience.

According to inspector John Sebastian of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ''the investigation is not complete but, from our point of view, it was totally an accident. We don't see any blame on either side."

Sebastian said there was no indication that any charges would be filed.

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The Soviets' early clinching of the hockey gold medal left only the silver and bronze to be decided today and tomorrow.

Finland can do no worse than a bronze and could get a silver either by beating the Soviets or by West Germany defeating Sweden. Both games are tomorrow.

Sweden could get a silver by defeating West Germany and Finland losing to the Soviets. The Swedes will take home a bronze if they lose, Finland wins, and Canada loses or ties in its game against Czechoslovkia tomorrow.

Canada can still push Sweden out of the medals entirely and claim the bronze if the Canadians defeat Czechoslovakia and Sweden loses to West Germany.

Soviet hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov was asked if it were true that he and his players will be rewarded with $50,000 each for winning the gold medal.

"If I get nothing at all, the gold medal will be enough," he said. ''decisions like that do not depend on coaches. They depend on higher authorities."

Tikhonov said that reports of his impending replacement were premature. Asked what he planned to do next, he said "work." When everybody laughed and the question was rephrased, the coach said it was always his intention to stay on. And that he looks forward to 1992 in Albertville, France.

Asked again about the Soviets allowing their top players to play in the NHL, Tikhonov said: "You put me in a difficult position. It is up, first of all, to players like Vyacheslav Fetisov if he wants to go, and also up to the

clubs for which the players play.

"It is not really a question for me. But there are talks and I do think there is going to be a breakthrough."

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