Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dying for the Gold

By Capt. Fogg

I never had much sympathy with the guy who decided that Hurricane Wilma was just the ticket for kite surfing fun in Ft. Lauderdale a few years ago, or even the guy who went paddle boarding last week off Palm Beach during an annual shark migration, but as dangerous as the luge is at any time, Nodar Kumaritashvili, the 21-year-old luger from Georgia, deserved better.

Kumaritashvili's practice runs showed he was not quite up to snuff. He didn't finish one practice run and his speeds were significantly lower than other athletes', but the safety of this very fast course has been questioned, and critics may have been right. He was killed in a crash yesterday, the second one in practice for the Vancouver games. Of all the things not worth dying for, "going for the gold" and for ephemeral national glory have to be amongst the least valuable.

I don't know if it's too late to correct the design, but let's hope nothing else like this happens.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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  • FYI: The luge courses have been slightly altered in the name of safety.

    VANOC should be held accountable--preferably by way of a criminal investigation--for Kumaritashvili's death.

    By Anonymous Vncvr Resident, at 6:03 PM  

  • I can't comment since I don't have enough information, but I'm sure there's a temptation to make the course more "exciting." Certainly casts a pall over the whole thing.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:12 AM  

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