(Thumbnail image: Sky Sports)

 

"Today luge practices resumed after Olympic officials determined it was not the track but Nodar Kumaritashvili's ill-timed entrance into a curve that sent his sled fatally careening out of control.

 

The angle in which he did so resulted in him experiencing a G-Force that literally collapsed his body, rendering it difficult to control the sled. Which in this case he was not able to do."

 

After the death of a 21-year-old Olympian from Georgia on Friday, people are pointing fingers and questioning who's to blame.  While the Olympic Organizing Committee blames the athlete, some think the dangerous course is the real problem.  


We're looking at perspectives from The Toronto Sun, The Orange County Register, NBC, Philly.com and ESPN.  

First, The Toronto Sun and The Orange County Register point the finger at Olympic officials, saying more care could’ve been taken.

The Toronto Sun: “...[the athlete] was ranked 44th in the world and as such was short in both experience and expertise. To that end, there are suggestions the sport must do a better job monitoring quality control before sending young men and women hurling down an icy track at speeds approaching 150 kilometres an hour.”

The Orange County Register: “...Olympic officials' desire to build the fastest track on the planet and live up to luge's claim as 'the fastest sport on ice' were put ahead of safety concerns for the riders…”
 

In the wake of the crash, NBC News' Lester Holt says the luge federation and the Olympic Committee have made safety improvements.


“Meantime today, cushioned pads were erected around metal poles including the one Kumaritashvili fatally struck. And a protective wooden wall was raised at the site of the crash. As officials tried to reassure rattled luge competitors.”


But Philly.com writes, the federation is contradicting itself by making marginal safety improvements.   

“The federation tried to have it both ways, saying the track was safe but making changes because, well, the death of a 21-year-old athlete demands some kind of action. The rationale, that the changes were for the benefit of the 'psychology' of the lugers, was pretty lame.”

Finally, An Argentine luger tells ESPN in the end…the athlete was to blame, but if precautions had been taken earlier, the tragedy could have easily been avoided.


“No the track didn’t cause the accident, he did, right? It was pilot error, he made a mistake, he didn’t correct and he crashed. But I believe that had the track been, had a barrier covering all those posts, he would have bounced off there, bounced back in and he'd be okay.  He might even have taken a second run."

 

So, who's to blame for the crash -- an inexperienced athlete or a committee pushing athletes to the limit?  

 

Writer: Amanda Heisey

Producer: Newsy Staff

Luge Death: Inexperience or Negligence?

by
0
Transcript
Feb 15, 2010

Luge Death: Inexperience or Negligence?

(Thumbnail image: Sky Sports)

 

"Today luge practices resumed after Olympic officials determined it was not the track but Nodar Kumaritashvili's ill-timed entrance into a curve that sent his sled fatally careening out of control.

 

The angle in which he did so resulted in him experiencing a G-Force that literally collapsed his body, rendering it difficult to control the sled. Which in this case he was not able to do."

 

After the death of a 21-year-old Olympian from Georgia on Friday, people are pointing fingers and questioning who's to blame.  While the Olympic Organizing Committee blames the athlete, some think the dangerous course is the real problem.  


We're looking at perspectives from The Toronto Sun, The Orange County Register, NBC, Philly.com and ESPN.  

First, The Toronto Sun and The Orange County Register point the finger at Olympic officials, saying more care could’ve been taken.

The Toronto Sun: “...[the athlete] was ranked 44th in the world and as such was short in both experience and expertise. To that end, there are suggestions the sport must do a better job monitoring quality control before sending young men and women hurling down an icy track at speeds approaching 150 kilometres an hour.”

The Orange County Register: “...Olympic officials' desire to build the fastest track on the planet and live up to luge's claim as 'the fastest sport on ice' were put ahead of safety concerns for the riders…”
 

In the wake of the crash, NBC News' Lester Holt says the luge federation and the Olympic Committee have made safety improvements.


“Meantime today, cushioned pads were erected around metal poles including the one Kumaritashvili fatally struck. And a protective wooden wall was raised at the site of the crash. As officials tried to reassure rattled luge competitors.”


But Philly.com writes, the federation is contradicting itself by making marginal safety improvements.   

“The federation tried to have it both ways, saying the track was safe but making changes because, well, the death of a 21-year-old athlete demands some kind of action. The rationale, that the changes were for the benefit of the 'psychology' of the lugers, was pretty lame.”

Finally, An Argentine luger tells ESPN in the end…the athlete was to blame, but if precautions had been taken earlier, the tragedy could have easily been avoided.


“No the track didn’t cause the accident, he did, right? It was pilot error, he made a mistake, he didn’t correct and he crashed. But I believe that had the track been, had a barrier covering all those posts, he would have bounced off there, bounced back in and he'd be okay.  He might even have taken a second run."

 

So, who's to blame for the crash -- an inexperienced athlete or a committee pushing athletes to the limit?  

 

Writer: Amanda Heisey

Producer: Newsy Staff

View More
Comments
Newsy
www1