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Wednesday, 25 April 2018


A fatal curve

2010-02-15 22:47

5344.jpegOlympic Games in Vancouver started with a tragedy. During the training runs the 21-year-old Georgian tobogganist Nodar Kumaritashvili tumbled out of the track and hit a metal column. The sportsman died in hospital. The representatives of the organizing committee stated that the reason for Kumaritashvili's death was the loss of control; however, the Georgian party says that Nodar was an experienced tobogganist. The delegation from Georgia even considered leaving Vancouver in sign of mourning; still, it was decided to stay in Canada in memory of Kumaritashvili. As to the tobogganists of the Georgian team, they will not take part in the tournament. Thus, the small Georgian team was reduced


from eight to six.

The bobsleigh/luge track in Whistler became the last one for Nodar Kumaritashvili. Following the results of the first runs, the sportsman was showing the 12th position and was surely going to make the second attempt. However while making a curve at a speed of 145 kilometers per hour Kumaritashvili came off the sleigh and hit the metal restraint. The sportsman immediately lost conscience; the doctors were unable to save him.

The sportsman's death on the very eve of the opening of the Olympic Games had a broad resonance. The organizers placed the entire responsibility upon the dead tobogganist: they said that it took Kumaritashvili too much time to manage the turn, so he did not have time to get ready for the next curve, which led to losing control of the bob and hittin the track construction. The experts left aside the fact that several sportsmen, who were much more experienced than the Georgian tobogganist, had already been hurt on the same track. Later on, International Bobsleigh Federation made a decision to bring the starting point for men 30 meters down, while the iron restraint hit by Kumaritashvili was covered with wooden sheets.

As it turned out, the track in Whistler was built for the new Olympic records. The point is that the maximum speed on bobsleigh/luge tracks in Europe and USA is 137 kilometers per hour, while the Canadian chute exceeded this figure by 20 kilometers and the level difference there is the highest in the world. Thus, it would be, at least, cynical to say that Kumarishvili died through his own fault. The sportsmen are no stuntmen, so the organization committee must ensure the safety of the athletes in all the Olympic events.

Anyway, the distressed Georgian delegation decided to leave the Games at first. "We are all in a deep shock and we do not know what to do next", - confessed head of the Georgian Olympic delegation Irakli Dzhaparidze.

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