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Olympic Luge Athlete Dies in Practice Run at Olympics

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by SixofNine, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    The deceased is Nodar Kumaritashvili, a 21-year-old luger from Georgia. RIP.

    According to an article on the WaPo website, Vancouver's new bobsled, luge and skeleton track is considered the fastest in the world and the most prone to crashes.

    The linked video provides a very good idea of the speeds that these athletes reach. It's not gory, but still a video of a tragic accident, so please bear that in mind (he crashed head first into a metal pole). Because of its outcome, I decided not to embed the video here.
     
  2. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    I think I read an article that said someone else crashed yesterday in the same turn, but was able to stay on the track.
     
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  4. damonlab

    damonlab Veteran Member

    I watched the video and looked at some pics on liveleak (I'm not posting the link, google it if you want) earlier tonight and am not inclined to watch/look at any more of it.

    BBC has an article that has the quote "To what extent are we just little lemmings that they just throw down a track and we're crash-test dummies? I mean, this is our lives."

    Link to the BBC article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic_games/vancouver_2010/luge/8513595.stm
    Note - the BBC article has a video response from the Olympic committee, but does not contain any video or pics of the incident.
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That goes for any sport that carries risk -- and that's most of them.
     
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  7. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Eeew. Poor bastard!
     
  8. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    At the opening speech, the president of the Olympic committee gave a momentary tribute to the athlete.
     
  9. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    I saw some video on the TV news. One of the anchors mentioned talk of wrapping the poles (which looked to me like columns supporting an upper-level) with foam cushions.
    This is a typical product-liability nightmare. Accidents shouldn't happen but one did, and it doesn't take an Einstein to think of all the highway design criteria that must have been forgotten by the luge track designers. I wonder what luge track designers are actually required to know. Plenty of physics to start and now it's obvious, maybe some highway safety, too.
     
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  12. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    Well, I have no idea about the condition of the run, but, given all that's been happening with the Olympics, I would be surprised if the NYT was correct.
     
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Based what I know, NYT IS correct. As my wife calls it, a huge embarrassment.
     
  14. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    Yeah, they put up padding, lowered the starting point, made adjustments to the ice, built that wall, but, they claim, not because the track is dangerous.:blank:

    Apparently there's also a bit of a kerfuffle over the lack of practice time and access to the course for non-Canadians.

     
  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Nationalism ftw... Imagine if US did this? Omg, the hand wringing!
     
  16. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    According the U.S. bobsledder quoted in the WaPo article we did it in Park City, Utah in 2002, but Lake Placid is the exemplar of openness.
     
  17. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Someone died then?
     
  18. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    No.
     
  19. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I guess that was luck. But here's the difference:

    1. The Park City was NOT a dangerous course as the "Whistler" is.
    2. The problems (which there were none) in the US course were NOT well known since 2 years ago.

    They knew about the issue of this course as far back as 2008. They also knew that the bottom liners on the luge COULD have problems--including the Georgian. Yet, they didn't invite these folks to practice and get to know the course better.
     
  20. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    So they'll lower the starting point to reduce the speeds and they'll put padding on the pillars. Instead of going 89 mph they might be going only 70-80 mph and if somebody flies off and hits one of those pads ... yeppers, that's gonna save them. Not.

    It's inherently dangerous and potentially fatal. We like our sports that way (I guess).

    Admittedly I'm not a sports fan. And also I don't mean to criticize sports. I'm just pointing out stuff.
     

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