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The Last Race
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Broadcast Date: Friday, January 18, 2013

Pushing the Limit

Nik Zoricic was one of the fastest members of the Canadian ski cross team and had dreams of representing Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. His promising career was tragically cut short when he crashed near the end of a World Cup race high in the Swiss Alps last year, in what course officials termed a freak accident. But as Mark Kelley learns, the first death in ski cross competition history may not have been so unpredictable. In the days leading up to that last race athletes raised alarms warning that the final jump was exceedingly dangerous and that race organizers were pushing the limits and didn't heed the early warning flags.

In the run up to the 2013 Winter X Games in Colorado, the fifth tells the full story of dangers ignored and botched investigations. A team member reveals how, hours before the race, Nik Zoricic warned him, "If someone is going off on the right, they're going to die." The words proved prophetic. It would be Zoricic's last race.

And Bob McKeown presents some stunning new information about another tragic last race that shocked the nation. For three years the fifth estate has been investigating how and why a young Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died at the Vancouver Olympics. New scientific findings from a leading expert on sports biomechanics may now finally explain why Kumaritashvili was thrown off the track. the fifth estate has also obtained e-mail traffic between Olympic organizers who share worries about how dangerous the track might be long before the young Georgian ever made his first, and last, running start in Vancouver.

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