After stalling for a week and trying to hide the video, International Luge Federation FIL will open investigation into death of Nodar Kumaritashvili.
The German designer of the track was interviewed on CBC The Current this morning and he blasted the FIL, the IOC and Canada. He told the Globe and Mail that he warned VANOC the Vancouver Olympics Committee about the course last year. He said the excessive speed was based on “marketing decisions”, in other words make the sport more exciting at the risk of the athletes.
Batu Kutelia Georgia’s Ambassador to Canada, the United States and Mexico was interviewed on CBC The Current this morning. He acknowledged that the athletes are at risk but the accident should not be blamed on the young man.
“It’s a very fast track, it’s very dangerous,” Karl Angerer of Germay said. “Personally, I’m a bit opposed to these tracks. [But] generally speaking … it’s fun going down it.” CTV
Some sliders say the course wasn’t dangerous.
“Lake Placid and Altenberg may be more dangerous than this track, because they’re harder to drive,” said Canadian Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., who was in second place after Thursday’s training session. “This is just speed.” CTV
The Telegraph.co.uk has accused Canadian officials and athletes of being willing to do anything to get on the winners podium.
The facts are incontrovertible – the 21 year old luger died on a practice run, going 10 Kph faster than safe speeds, was ejected from his luge, flew over a wall that was too low to save him and hit an unprotected steal beam.
Huffington Post reported
“FRANKFURT — The man who designed the Olympic luge course on which a Georgian slider was killed says he is surprised by the death and track walls may have to be raised, an opinion shared by a three-time Olympic champion.
“We’ve already designed six Olympic courses,” designer Udo Gurgel told Sport-Bild magazine’s online edition. “No one has been thrown from the track before.”
Gurgel said the usual speed at the finish is under 75 mph, and “normally every slide should be under control. He must have been shot out like a bullet.
“Now one should think how the course can be altered,” he said, suggesting one possibility that the wall be raised about 15 to 20 inches.
Georg Hackl, Germany’s former three-time luge champion, agreed.
“They have to put high wooden boards there, then the luger doesn’t fly off but hits the plank, falls back to the track and slides down,” Hackl told the online edition of the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Hackl said a small driving error and not the speed of the track was to blame.
“It’s a track that’s significantly faster than any other tracks that we know,” Hackl told the newspaper. “At the beginning, it was a great challenge for the athletes. But it’s their job to master these demands. And they have. They all have the track under control, including the Georgian. Such a tiny driving error, it can happen.”
Related story – Anger is mounting against IOC in death of luger