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Thread: Sad news: Luger dies in crash

  1. #61
    Custom Title Tigger's Avatar
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    It was reported during a very shortened CTV National Newscast, that the President of Georgia has announced that a Luge Track will be built in Nodar's Hometown and also dedicated to his Memory. Also in the Hope to inspire the young people of his Hometown to take up the Sport that he loved so much.

    A very fitting Memorial indeed.

  2. #62
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Sad Day At Olympics Yesterday....

    It was stunning news to hear about the death of the Luge skater from Georgia (Russia) yesterday, before the Olympics were officially open. All Canadians sent heartfelt condolences as they prepared for the biggest event ever to take place here in Vancouver.

    http://www.ctvolympics.ca/luge/news/...mise+made+best

  3. #63
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    The remaining Georgian Mens Luger has w/drawn from the event. He got to the Track this morning and just couldn't do it. :(
    Very understandable. Not only it is the very next day, but also it is the accident scene. I hope that the team and other lugers have access to psychological resources if needed to prevent the development of PTSD.

    Regarding the investigation, I kind of agree with the Georgian President in voicing that it is hard for a lay person like himself to make sense that the course was not designed in such a manner that affords mistakes on the part of lugers (I lost track of the link but this is my best recollection of the news that I read).
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-14-2010 at 02:45 AM.

  4. #64
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Regarding the investigation, I kind of agree with the Georgian President in voicing that it is hard for a lay person like himself to make sense that the course was not designed in such a manner that affords mistakes on the part of lugers.
    I still feel that the Canadian sledding association is culpable for designing the track in such a way that sliders could master it only after many trial runs (and many crashes) -- then only allow Canadian athletes the opportunity to learn the track.

    Their excuse -- "everybody cheats, so we are going to cheat, too" -- doesn't really cut it.
    Last edited by Mathman; 02-14-2010 at 09:35 AM.

  5. #65
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    I think This article sums up my feelings quite succinctly.

  6. #66
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    "Blaming an athlete's death on his mistake is a denial of responsibilty. That was the message, in the substance and subtext, of nearly everything that was said yesterday at the Whistler Sliding Center."
    Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer

    "Hundred percent, that was not a track issue. It was a driving error. "
    Wollfgang Staudinger, Canadian Luge coach

    Claiming this track was safe - and then changing it - sounds like Vanoc is trying to have it both ways.
    What hypocrites.....

  7. #67
    Always Believed! Sk8n Mama's Avatar
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    I still feel that the Canadian sledding association is culpable for designing the track in such a way that sliders could master it only after many trial runs (and many crashes) -- then only allow Canadian athletes the opportunity to learn the track.
    World Cup Events events were held on that track prior to The Games which debunks your theory that only Canadians were allowed on the track. It's been open since 2008 for athletes to practise on it. In fact, the Georgian luger had had 26 runs on the track before his crash and declined to compete in the pre-Olympic competition that took place on that track.

    I'm sorry but I'm tired of reading conjecture by people whose knowledge of the luge, skeleton and bobsled is based upon what they read in the media. The International Luge Federation ruled that Nodar went into the turn way too late then overcorrected. He just didn't have the experience to be able to deal with that kind of a mistake. Why, then, does a group of figure skating fans think they know more about it than the International Luge Federation?

    As a Canadian, this whole line of posting offends me:
    "everybody cheats, so we are going to cheat, too"
    As I said earlier, it would be completely anti-Canadian to make an unsafe course deliberately then allow Canadians way more practice so that it wouldn't be unsafe for them. Canada is just NOT a "win at all costs" nation.


    And, Mathman, this quote is just for you:
    http://www.canada.com/sports/autorac...858/story.html
    "It is standard for the home country to have home field advantage and we will have that in Vancouver," he said. "There is a set of rules that govern who can get on to the venues and we live exactly by those rules. The same situation applied exactly in Salt Lake City in 2002, where the American team was given good access to the facilities as they should. And in sports where they would have no tradition at all to be successful in, they won all the medals."

    He noted that the U.S. went into Salt Lake "expecting no medals" in sliding sports and won seven, elevating the U.S. to first place in the Games.
    Last edited by Sk8n Mama; 02-14-2010 at 11:35 AM.

  8. #68
    Custom Title Tigger's Avatar
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    Thank you Sk8n Mama. Well said!!

    It's a very sad reality, but Nodar made a mistake that cost him his life. It's obvious when you look at the video that he was way too high to exit that turn safely. Considering how high on the turn he was, no wonder he flew off the track. :(

    I am also getting sick and tired, as well offended as a Canadian, by all the "expert opinions" by a group of people who only watch Luge once every four years. If that!!

    When you all follow Luge more than just during an Olympic Games, as I do, then you can comment on whether or not the Governing Body of the Sport has the authority to rule on such a thing. Until thien...Keep the righteous outrage where it belongs. Which is a place I can't mention here at GS.

  9. #69
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    A mistake shouldn't cost any athlete his life. Period.

    Even before Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed, a Romanian athlete was knocked unconscious and forced out of the games, and a two-time OGM winner also crashed badly on the track. Were they to blame, too?

    I'm not going to go into the lack of training time for non-Canadians, but it seems clear there were issues with the design of the track and there were not enough safety precautions, and not just clear in hindsight; people complained well before. Having a track where people might fly into exposed steel columns if they make an error strikes me as a very bad idea and it could have been prevented. Someone was grossly irresponsible, and possibly criminally negligent, and it cost a young man his life. This has nothing to with the nationality of the engineers and designers of the track - but the matter should be investigated seriously and thoroughly, not by quickly pinning the blame on a 21 year old athlete who will never be able to defend himself.

    One can only hope that this track and others will be made safer, so that nothing like this ever happens again. Some changes are already being made, and incredibly, not everyone supports this:
    Citing emotional concerns and reacting to safety concerns over the track's notorious high speeds, the International Luge Federation (FIL) decided the men would start from the lower women's start house, thereby lowering speeds. The FIL also raised the wall in Turn 16 where the fatal crash occurred.

    There was no consensus among the lugers whether the change in starting position was correct. The Canadians were furious when they learned about the lower start, complaining it took away their home-track advantage.

    "This track was certified by the International Luge Federation, certified by the Vancouver Olympic Committee," said Canada's Jeff Christie. "We gave all the training runs we needed, plus more, from the top of the track. We held a successful World Cup last year, and moving it kind of takes away some of our advantage."

  10. #70
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    If it wasn't safe, than why did the ILF and VOC approve it in the first place (general question)? Unfortunately, I think all the issues go hand in hand, which makes responsibility harder to suss out. The link I posted mentions people questioning the track at the world cup in 2008.

    A mistake shouldn't cost any athlete his life. Period.
    That's what it comes down to, doesn't it? I'm not quite sure I agree (are race car drivers athletes?), but I don't know.

  11. #71
    Custom Title 76olympics's Avatar
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    I don't think Mathman's response reflects on Canada and all Canadians at all. I do think that the track was too dangerous; this was not the only athlete that had a problem. This was the first luge fatality in over 40 years. You could call it a fluke -but the best luger in the world crashed earlier that day. There had been much prior comment about it. It was tragic that the Georgian luger had a fatal run, but it was tragic in the world's eyes. I don't think this is a national thing; it just needs to be fixed.

  12. #72
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Thankyou for the link Buttercup:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/olympics/w...jim&id=4913324


    "So they squeezed into their bodysuits and grabbed their sleds and raced. "The morning was quite normal," Latvia's Martins Rubenis said. "But last evening, I felt really empty. One man is gone. There was pretty much empty space in my heart."

    "They raced with empty spaces in their hearts and newly applied black stripes on their helmets. It was not the sort of racing stripe they ever wanted to wear."

    "It's kind of weird," Langenhan said. "You put it on and it's frightening."


    If the Canadian's feel they have lost their advantage - perhaps their coach and team members could have enough dignity, sportsmanship and class to keep their thoughts to themselves in memory of Nodar Kumaritashvili.

    The idea that winning medals is more important than a life seems to go against Olympic ideals not to mention common human decency.

  13. #73
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    That's what it comes down to, doesn't it? I'm not quite sure I agree (are race car drivers athletes?), but I don't know.
    I don't know if they're athletes... I guess my point is that any sport needs to get to a point where every possible precaution is taken, and tragedies such as this need to lead to a reassessment of what is being done, not swept away quickly. In a sport like luge, it should be anticipated that some athletes will make mistakes on the track - so why not take this into account the design of the track?

    Didn't NASCAR make some changes after Dale Earnhardt was killed? Though it took some time, the Tour de France eventually mandated wearing helmets - something that might have saved Fabio Casartelli's life. I just hope that there is a real investigation, and that luge will be made safer as a result.

    Janetfan, I was appalled by Christie's comments. I'm sure they do not reflect the attitudes of the vast majority of Canadian athletes and Canadians in general.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 02-14-2010 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Janetfan, I was appalled by Christie's comments. I'm sure they do not reflect the attitudes of the vast majority of Canadian athletes and Canadians in general.
    My comments were a reaction to comments made by the Canadian Luge coach and a team member.
    They were not about the Canadian people who I have always known to be amongst the friendliest in the world.

    Such comments less than 24 hours after this unfortunate accident just seem so insensitve and out of place at an Olympic Festival.

  15. #75
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    My comments were a reaction to comments made by the Canadian Luge coach and a team member.
    They were not about the Canadian people who I have always known to be amongst the friendliest in the world.

    Such comments less than 24 hours after this unfortunate accident just seem so insensitve and out of place at an Olympic Festival.
    We're getting lost in internet translation - I didn't think you were implying that, I just wanted to make it clear that I do not consider Christie at all representative of, well, anyone other than himself.

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