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    Thursday, February 19, 1998

    Police investigating after Hindle injured

     NAGANO, Japan (CP-AP) -- Police are investigating a mysterious accident in which a Canadian bobsledder was struck and injured by a pane of falling glass at the Olympic Village.
     Canadian officials said Thursday they believe the incident -- in which a glass window pane was knocked from the sixth floor of an Olympic Village tower -- was no accident.
     "All I can say is it didn't fall by itself," said Jeff Hugill, Canada's bobsled team leader.
     Matt Hindle, 23, of Calgary, was outside at 8 p.m. Wednesday talking with two U.S. bobsledders when he was hit by the glass, said Canadian Olympic Association spokeswoman Suzanne Charest.
     Hugill said the three athletes were standing in an alley between the U.S. and Canadian buildings.
     "The guys said they heard kicking," Hugill said.
     "Security in the Olympic village is something everybody is worried about."
     Hugill said police were investigating and that doctors have given Hindle -- who required five stitches to close a cut in his shoulder -- the OK to race Friday.
     Brian Rahill, Canada's luge team leader, said Hindle suffered only a glancing blow to his head, while his shoulder took the brunt of the blow, Rahill said.
     David Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said there was no truth to speculation that the accident involving Hindle was tied to U.S. hockey players trashing their rooms after being eliminated from the Olympics.
     "I have been told based upon the time it took place and where it took place ... that the incident had nothing to do with the hockey players," Ogrean said. "No connection whatsoever."
     Hindle, his twin brother Ben, and Ian Danney are on the No. 2 bobsled team headed by Chris Lori of Windsor, Ont. They are scheduled to race 12th Friday in the 32-team field. Friday's preliminaries feature two runs, followed by the final two runs Saturday in the medal round.
     Favored in the four-man bobsled are the German teams, led by 1992 Lillehammer Games gold-medallist Harald Czudaj, and the Swiss.
     Canada's top team is led by Pierre Lueders, who tied for the gold medal in the two-man bobsled on Sunday at the Spiral track in Nagano.