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Ski jumping: Better helmets and body armour needed, says top official

Published on Feb 12, 2014 10:09 AM

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (REUTERS) - Ski jumpers will have to don better helmets and could be required to wear body armour as part of a determined bid by authorities to make the sport as safe as possible, a top official said.

"It's an outdoor sport, it's a risky sport. We were able over the years to make it safer... we could make it (even) safer," said Mr Walter Hofer, the ski jumping race director at the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Spectacular crashes are fairly common in jumping. Three-times Olympic gold medallist Thomas Morgenstern of Austria has ended up in hospital twice in the last two months after crashes where he suffered a broken finger as well as face and head injuries.

"The next goal must be to make safer helmets with higher standards. Maybe we can do something for the protection of the body," Mr Hofer told reporters high up on the normal hill late on Monday night as women jumpers whistled by at 90kmh at the Sochi Olympics.

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