The heats of the Men's Ski Cross event at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday were marred by several injuries to competitors.
None were more brutal, however, than the fall suffered by Chris Del Bosco - which left the Canadian with a broken pelvis.
The horrific incident occurred during the eighth heat of the event. Del Bosco had been hopeful of winning a medal in the lead up to the Games, but, following a shaky start, the 35-year-old found himself off the pace in his heat as he entered the closing stages of the race.
Upon taking one of the final jumps of the course, Del Bosco appeared off balance and went veering off course – flying through the air much higher than the other three competitors in the race.
Having lost all control, Del Bosco was helpless as he landed shudderingly on his back with his head smashing into the ground.
Del Bosco, who finished fourth in the event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, lay motionless for minutes whilst being attended to by medical personnel at the side of the course.
He was eventually placed on a stretcher and taken to hospital, where the extent of his injuries were confirmed.
Del Bosco was the third competitor in eight races to require medical assistance to leave the course.
Frenchman Terence Tchiknavorian (fractured shin) and Austria's Christoph Wahrstoetter (concussion) also required treatment during an incident packed round of heats at Phoenix Snow Park.
Competitors in the event do have protective airbags built into the equipment in which they compete, but the severity of Del Bosco's injury shows the inherent danger involved in the sport.
Given the high profile nature of the Olympics, there will surely now be calls from some quarters for the safety of competitors to be reviewed in light of Wednesday's events.
A two-time X Games gold medallist, Del Bosco now faces a long period of rehabilitation before he can contemplate a return to competition.
The disappointment of missing out on his Olympic medal dreams once again in such an ugly fashion will also no doubt take its toll.
There was some positive news for concerned fans, however, as Del Bosco was able to reassure them that he was conscious by giving a thumbs up as he was taken from the scene of the incident.