I am going to start this off by saying it is with a sense of sadness that I write this piece.
Twenty-one year old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died in a training run today at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whister, B.C. It has been reported that he was travelling in excess of 140 km/h before the incident occurred.
A report by the Toronto Star said “he didn’t have a chance.”
I have seen the video (after doing some hunting around), and the impact was horrifying to put it mildly.
However, since this is a law site. Perhaps this may be too soon, but this incident is definitely going to need some analyzation. The Toronto Star also reports that this specific luge course has a particularly “nasty reputation.”
CTV luge analyst Chris Wightman said experienced lugers aren’t having problems on the course but that less experienced riders are finding it hugely challenging.
Had Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) and the International Luge Federation ensured that this was a safe course? Was the fact that he had previously crashed on Wednesday play a factor into whether an action is brought against the committee?
Questions like these will reveal themselves in the coming days, but for the time being, our thoughts here (and I’m sure I speak for everyone) are with the family, friends, and luging community.