Saturday, February 13, 2010

Death returns to the Arena

Welcome to the big leagues.  Yup Luge is dangerous.  You knew that just by looking at it.  This poor Georgian boy, Nodar Kumaritashvili, knew that too.

I'm very very sorry about his accident.  He died following his dreams.

Hindsight is 20/20.  My 20/20 hindsight says we should put some Plexiglas in front of those posts and anywhere else that looks like it could be fatal.  Sure it would hurt worse than the worst body-check in all of hockey and might still be fatal.  It would at least prevent Nodar's particular accident.  You could call them Nodar's barriers.  

Engineers make your pitches.  That track has got to reopen and fast.  I think we would all feel better if it was reopened as the safest track in the world.

The Olympics are a really big deal.  Its like an election except the whole world is paying very close attention.  I hope everyone is triple checking everything right now.  Athletes included. 



The_Iceman said...

Dude, maybe people were not designed to travel at 140 kmh on a tiny sled with no protection. I am very pro Olympics. I even moved to Vancouver from Ontario because of the Olympics. Experts have been complaining that the track is too fast ever since it was built. It is the steepest and fastest track ever built. Not long before this accident, a two time gold medalist crashed on the same course. How is the 44th ranked competitor going to fare?

If it is a legitimate safety hazard, re-opening the course presents a massive liability issue. If anyone is seriously injured after this, VANOC is fucked. Moving the luge and skeletons to Calgary might be the safest play, a logistical nightmare though it may be.

But your point is taken that he accepted high risk when he chose that career. But in a vain attempt to set speed records, VANOC may have designed a death trap. When the German coach is complaining that the track is too dangerous (before the death), you know something is wrong. The Krauts aren't generally hung up on the sanctity of mortality.

The_Iceman said...

PS: I am 1/4 German

Spin Assassin said...

hmmm bad news then. I heard a Russian Luger say something like that last night. I thought to myself that he should just quit.... but if they are all saying something like that I'm not so sure. I imagine it would take a lot to scare a luger. I would never go near one of those sleds on any track.

About switching to Calgary, wouldn't that be dangerous too? I understand that they all train for the track. Suddenly you get a new track out of the blue.

Spin Assassin said...

The track is reopening. Male lugers will start further down the track at the female start point. I hear they made modifications to the portion of the track where Nodar died.

The Luge governing body also says it was Nodar's fault and not the tracks fault since he lost control of his sled.

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