Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died following a crash at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Friday, the International Olympic Committee announced.
The 21-year-old was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to revive him.
"We are heart broken beyond words," VANOC CEO John Furlong said in a news conference, fighting tears.
"Our first thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the athlete," said IOC president Jacques Rogge. "The whole Olympic Family is struck by this tragedy, which clearly casts a shadow over these Games."
The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Games is scheduled for Friday night.
Kumaritashvili was clocked at 144.3 km/h heading into the final 270-degree turn of a training run when he hit one side of the wall, crashed into the other, and was hurled off the track and hit a metal support pole.