Sadness Mars Olympic Start
Posted by Nancy on February 14, 2010
Imagine finding a sport you love and then spending untold hours training to enhance your technique and perfect your performance. Imagine all those efforts paying off by finally reaching the level of an Olympic athlete. Then imagine the unthinkable. Just hours before you are to take center stage with the world as your audience there is a horrific accident during a trail run that ends not only your Olympic dreams but your very life as well.
This horror story was the tragic fate of 21 year old Bosnian, Nodar Kumaritashvili ,who was eagerly anticipating competing in the luge event of the winter games.
It is widely recognized that the luge is a very dangerous sport full of high speed twists and turns where riders can reach speeds in excess of 95 miles per hour. Though it is true that it is a thrilling event to watch and even more so, to participate in,it is also true that because of the amazing speeds involved there is little room for error. The rider must maintain control of his body, keeping his alignment steady and his legs and feet as motionless as possible. Keeping a low, large profile on the sled helps to eliminate as much wind resistance as possible.
The luge course in Vancouver is exceptionally fast. It turns out that the run is 20 kph faster than the designers anticipated. Due to Fridays horrendous accident, modifications have been made which will move the mens competition to the slower womens track. Padding has also been added to the support beams as a precaution against another similar accident.
The risks involved in many of the events of the winter games are substantial but hopefully this Olympics will not see any more career or life ending accidents.