The Winter Olympics are fun and spectacular, but they also feature hundreds of people launching themselves very high in the air or riding down mountains at many, many miles per hour. Injuries — deaths — do happen, including a severe one today.

In a practice run in Sochi, Russian ski cross racer Maria Komissarova broke and dislocated her spine. She was taken to a hospital near Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, where emergency surgery was performed. There has been no word yet on whether or not she will make a full recovery.

Ski cross is an event that was added to the Winter Olympics in 2010, and is considered one of skiing's riskier events. Racers ski downhill while navigating sharp turns, obstacles, and big-air jumps. A spokesperson said that Komissarova fell from the air while exiting a third large jump at the top of the course in Sochi.

These Olympics have had trouble keeping a number of courses up to par. Shaun White pulled out of slopestyle snowboarding after deeming the course too dangerous, and arlier today, 18 different skiers failed to finish a super-G event as temperatures in Sochi reached 64 degrees.

[image of Komissarova via YouTube]