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Olympics

Report: Luger’s Death In Vancouver Attributable To ‘Driving Errors’

I would say the only “driving errors” Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili committed were getting on his sled and deciding to race down the far-too-fast death trap organizers had prepared at the Whistler Sliding Center for the Olympic event. But I am not the expert here – the International Luge Federation is – and they say driving errors, so I guess we have no choice but to believe them. From the Telegraph:

The report said: “The findings from examining the fatal run indicate that Nodar did commit driving errors starting in curve 15/16 which as an accumulation ended in the impact that resulted in him leaving the track and subsequently hitting a post, causing blunt force trauma to the base of his skull, causing the fatality. This is a tragic result that should not have occurred as a result of an initial driving error.”

Kumaritashvili’s father, David, disagrees.

“Yes, any sportsman could make a mistake, but it shouldn’t result in a tragic and fatal accident,” the father said. “He flew off the track. No matter what mistake he had committed, he should not have flown off it. Security measures must be provided.”

I have to side with Nodar’s grieving father on this one. Whether or not the kid made an error, who thought it would be safe to have a steel girder with no padding whatsoever placed so prominently right next to the track? It boggles the mind how anyone thought that was a good idea. It’s like littering a football field with land mines or something. Or having fifty gallon drums of gasoline surrounding the pit during a NASCAR race.

If the girder had been reinforced with some sort of padding, would Kumaritashvili’s death been prevented? I suppose we’ll never know, but it wouldn’t have decreased the likelihood of his survival.

Nodar Kumaritashvili’s Winter Olympic luge death blamed on ‘driving errors’ [Telegraph]