Story banned in Berne – Georgian Olympic Committee blames the tracks not luger, mother stricken with grief at airport
It’s not just US comedian Dave Letterman who thinks the IOC is callous and perhaps hiding something in the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. Dave Letterman takes on IOC over luge “accident”
There is a mounting sentiment of anger against the IOC. The only investigation so far has blamed Muaritashvili for inexperience.
The Wall Street Journal reports the Georgian Olympic Committee refutes that IOC allegation that Mr Kumaritashvili was at fault.
“TBILISI, Georgia—In its strongest condemnation yet of the horrific accident that killed 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili hours before the opening of the Winter Olympics, the Georgian Olympic Committee on Thursday blamed the track, not the athlete.”
“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.”
“Safety standards were not properly observed,” Mr. Natsvlishvili said. He hinted that Georgia might take “further action” regarding the accident, but didn’t elaborate.Wall Street Journal
The 21 year old luger died when his sled tipped him out and he flew off the track on a curve at 144 Kph. He flew up beyond a retaining wall and hit an unprotected beam. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Mother grief stricken in Georgia
At the airport in Tiblisi, his mother Dodo Kharazishvili threw herself on the flag drapped coffin in tears of anguish and grief. “Why have I survived you?” she cried out uncontrollably. An ambulance had to be called to assist her. She could not walk. (AP)
FIL blames luger but President contradicts Vancouver
The International Luge Federation FIL blamed Mr Kumaritashvili for the accident then slowed the course down and add some protection on the deadly curve. Their actions are an admission of guilt. The men’s course now starts forward at the same place as the women. The half-fence that didn’t protect Kumaritashvili has been built up and the posts are now padded. All of those actions could have avoided a tragic accident; however, the FIL and IOC are in denial mode and won’t accept that or investigate further.
In London, “Joseph Fendt, president of the World Luge Federation, told London’s Daily Telegraph: ‘’The track is too fast. We had planned it to be a maximum of 137 km/h but it is about 20km/h faster. We think this is a planning mistake.’’ Vancouver Sun
Canadian civil authorities may have to investigate further although we suspect the current pro-Olympics mood in BC will preclude a serious investigation and possible charges against sports authorities. The BC Coroner prepared a preliminary investigation clearing the track but that seems suspect as well.
It was callous and unsportsmanlike to blame the dead athlete. It appears the ILF wants to duck any liability and pass the buck to the victim, who cannot defend himself.
I saw the whole luge run before the IOC started pulling the video from the internet and broadcasters. It was clear Kumaritashvili felt the track was too fast. He kept arching his neck and looked very nervous, not calm.
The IOC knows the video is damming and has given us a demand to remove the video. IOC issues take down of news coverage about luge death in David and Goliath battle The IOC is trying to hide the truth under the guise of copyright violations, which are patently false.
Luge track unsafe with other injuries reported
Kumaritashvili’s father David is a luger himself and told the BBC “But I never ever thought that his taking part would lead to his death. But unfortunately it was the end. There were metal pillars after the bend and that was where he crashed. If those pillars had not been there this would not have happened. I might have seen him again alive.”
Other lugers are complaining the track is dangerous. BBC reports “Before the incident, British skeleton slider Amy Williams told BBC Sport: “I just hope Whistler is safe and that there aren’t too many crashes and serious injuries.” Australia’s Hannah Campbell-Pegg added: “I think they are pushing it a little too much. 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.”
Their comments followed earlier accidents, including one involving gold medal favourite Armin Zoeggeler of Italy and several during women’s luge training runs on Wednesday. Among those who crashed, Romania’s Violeta Stramaturaru was knocked unconscious for a few minutes and taken to hospital. The track is where British competitor Adam Rosen crashed during training in October last year. He suffered a dislocated hip as well as nerve and tendon damage.” BBC
The Canadian luge team complained that they were prepared for the faster track and didn’t want to slow the Games down. British commentators said the Canadians had practiced up to 300 times and the course was closed to lugers not on the Canadian team. Kumaritashvili voiced his concern that he was only allowed 30 practice runs.
Some commentators claim Canada has lost it’s nice guy image and is pursuing medals at all costs. “The Canadian organisers had also been criticised for limiting access to other teams during the build-up to the Games in order to favour home competitors.” MailOnline
US Female Bobsledder calls Vancouver track “stupid fast”
CBC covers David and Goliath battle with IOC
Lawyer and wannabee journalist says luge video voyeurism
IOC Threatens Ski Gear Company
FIL to investigate luge death
Dave Letterman takes on IOC over luge “accident”
IOC blocks news about luge death in David and Goliath battle
IOC Tries To Restrict Freedom of the Press
Olympics Moves to Take Down Video of Luge Death
Stories from Wall Street Journal, Guardian.co.uk, AP, MailOnLine, Vancouver Sun, BBC and NJN Network. The video clip is copyright by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was broadcast by ABC News, along with other broadcast media, both on broadcast TV, cable and on their internet site. NJN Network makes no claim of copyright but it does claim the right to embed and thereby rebroadcast the video used under the Canadian Copyright Act under permission of Section 29.2 ” Fair dealing for the purpose of news reporting does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned: (a) the source; and (b) if given in the source, the name of the…(iv) broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.”