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Georgian Olympic Committee blames luge track for fatal accident


The Georgian Olympic Committee on Thursday blamed the track, not the athlete for the accident that killed 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili hours before the opening of the Winter Olympics.

"I exclude the possibility that Nodar was not experienced enough," committee chief Giorgi Natsvlishlili said in televised comments. "From my point of view the track was at fault."

Kumaritashvili died in a training accident when he lost control of his luge on the final turn of the track at the Whistler Sliding Center, the world's fastest, and hit a steel support beam at 90 mph.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver

Photo: Nodar Kumaritashvili. Credit: AP.

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Comments (3)

years and years of planning. Nobody thought about a protective wall? It only took 12 hours to make after the death. Gross miscalculation on the Canadian part. They should have been smarter. Aye?

Wow! What professionals they have in canada! Planning, designing, building, and overall inspection of the track and no one thought about the olympians safety! Alot of fingers will be pointed but the reality is that we have lost a young man who has trained for years to compete, only to lose his life due to a lack of attention to detail and the person(s) should be held responsible! I wonder how it would feel to cash that paycheck, knowing you killed someone due to the lack of skill and knowledge of luge track building, OBVIOUSLY!

The IOC and the Professional body for lugers both approved the track and gave it their stamp of approval. There have already been world-level competitions on that track. The Olympics bring a lot of countries together and some of the athletes are not that talented - he was rated 44. He was inexperienced but he practiced on that course 25 times before the accident. If he thought it was a death course he should have stayed off it. This wasn't a Canadian fail. But hey, never stopped people making ignorant comments about another country. Ugly American, anyone.

No wall or protective glass would have saved this luger. He ricocheted off his sled and his body would have hit the wall at 95K an hour. It was the luger's inability to manage his sled.

I am sorry for his loss but his own federation and his coaches should not have sent him out there if he was afraid and unable to manage his sled at the speed.

I'm sure they are feeling guilty. It's a tragedy all the way around.


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