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Discussion in 'Sports Programming and Events' started by MikeW, Feb 12, 2010.
Very sad news.
A sad way to start the olympics indeed. : (
That's just terrible. I sure didnt want to see the Olympics start out this way.
Thank you for putting the subject in the thread title.
I also heard on ESPN earlier that some other Lugers had already been complaining that they thought the course was unsafe. I hope that we don't find out this was something that could have been avoided if someone had heeded earlier warnings. That would be truly sad on top of tragic.
I heard the same thing earlier, very sad.
It does seem they're pushing it too far. You've basically got a human torpedo travelling now at 90+ mph with just a helmet and rubber suit.
It is a tragedy.
It appears that the extreme nature of performances in the 2010 Olympics along with weather problems could combine for a lot of injuries up there. I hope that they can get it all together safely after this sad occurrence.
The video made me sick to my stomach. Really unfortunate this happened.
If they cant see that having an entire row of steel poles at the bottom of a 90 mph run, with only a 3 foot high ice wall between the track and the poles is unsafe, they seriously need to consider canceling events on that run until it can be made safe.
I saw where IOC officials are considering moving the starting gate forward to reduce terminal speeds. The idea of having unpadded steel poles at the end of the chute right after the last curve seems unbelievably stupid.
The video of the accident was sickening. It should not have been released.
They just had a moment of silence for the Georgian luger killed today...during the end part of the opening ceremony....very sad.
I agree with you. But far more disturbing to me are some of the still photos that can be found on the internet.
Closeups of the safety crews working, etc. It's disgusting that anyone would have the poor taste to make such images & videos available.
I'm still watching the Opening Ceremonies unfold, but it was nice to see the reception that the Georgian team received on their entrance to the stadium.
That was a truly heartbreaking event. My heart goes out to the Georgian team and to his family.
And I hope the IOC sees fit to make some changes to that course ASAP!
In the interest of truth and historical/scientific interests I understand why video and pictures exist... and they should, to be studied and hopefully learn something that will prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
But I agree, I don't want to see them... and I don't know why so many people apparently do like to see such things, that prompts some Web sites or news agencies to release/post them for all to see.
Meanwhile... I also heard more later that said there had been at least a dozen earlier accidents on that Luge run, to go along with all the safety complaints... so it sounds very much like there could have been much more reports of injuries than just this one fatality.
I also heard that practice runs had been canceled while investigation on how to improve safety was going on... I know if I was a fellow Luger, I'd feel very weird going on that run after this.
I agree 100%. The videos and photos can certainly be used by the 'powers that be' to break down exactly what happened and how to prevent it in the future.
I find it distasteful that those videos and photos are being made public - to people like you and I who will not be involved in using those photos to affect the safety of the competitors at the Olympics. The video may very well have been playing live somewhere, and was "out there" at the time it happened. The other photos I saw were not available live - they were published after the fact. They include graphic closeups of the luger and his injuries and don't need to be floating around for everyone to see.
I know there are people who would make the argument that "if they don't release the photos, then we can't hold them accountable and make sure they fix things." To that I say BS. A man died today. Do we need to see the photos of his death to say to the organizers of the Olympics "You need to make sure this event is safe"?
As to the second part of your post, about the earlier accidents. The luge is a dangerous sport. There are always accidents. The organizers are trying to tread a fine line between good competition and safety. The earlier accidents were, in large part, "par for the course" as far as I can see. Hindsight is always 20/20, and we can look at it now and say they should have done something before...but if every time a luger crashed they changed the course, they'd never get to compete. So I can see where they organizers would have looked at things and thought it was OK to continue.
That end turn @ 90 mph coming into a gauntlet of unpadded steel poles is surely a lapse in judgement... something should have been done to that area to try and protect the competitors, though I'm afraid there might not have been any amount of padding on those steel poles that could have saved the Georgian luger yesterday... When your body turns into a 90mph missile and meets with a hard, immovable object (padding or not), bad things are going to happen...
So... in short.... I give the organizers a little pass for not having made changes to the course. If things don't change now, their pass will be revoked.
Just to add to this... I was just watching the Olympics and they had a reporter at the luge course.
Changes to the course have been made - speeds today are in the 80+ mph range and not the 90+ mpg range that they were yesterday. The final turn has been modified to give the lugers and easier exit. And, a wall has been built at the bottom of the course, just after that final turn, where the crash occurred.
Sadly, they said that the "official report" of the accident placed zero blame on the course, and said the cause of the accident was "athlete error".
Well, that's a crock of pure, unadulterated BS!
Now I know what IOC really stands for: Idiot Olympic Committee. It was the pre-approved design of the luge course, stupid!
So there is nothing wrong with the course, but they dramatically changed it by moving the starting line forward, and boxing in the unprotected steel poles.