Saturday, February 13, 2010
Oh No, Canada: Luge Tragedy Casts Gloom on Winter Games
Because the Olympics are most famous, at a time the greatest athletes unite and compete globally in the beautiful scenery of British Columbia, experiencing a freak accident that suddenly turned into a devastating tragedy wasn’t anticipated.
There have been too many crashes in one week during practice runs, but organizers ignored the possibility of a fatality, unprepared for a crestfallen disaster to shift people's moods and consciousness.
Before the lighting of the cauldron in the opening ceremonies on Friday night, the entire world mourned the sudden death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, a 21-year old luger from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
There’s nothing better than attempting to capture a quest that athletes wish for at a young age. But, unfortunately, suffering from a fast-track accident cut his life short. Around the world, tears dropped and candles were ignited, sadden by the shocking news.
Welcome to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, where it's still hard to imagine a death on opening day. The assumptions of what took place in the last 24 hours brings on alarming perceptions in the aftermath of an outlandish calamity, a wicked crash that presumably could have been prevented?
Ready to face the world’s greatest Olympians, a young athlete immediately died after traveling at a ridiculous speed in Curve 15, losing control on a 270-degree turn and crashing in the final curve, all while traveling at nearly 90 mph and flying over the wall, slamming into an unprotected steel pole.
By the time the rescue staff intended to Kumaritashvili, trying to revive him trackside by pumping his chest and performing mouth-to-mouth, he was pronounced dead.
Were there enough signs that the track wasn’t safe for the sport suddenly known as a deathbed? Could this have been addressed, before it became a disheartening episode?
Yes. For much of the week leading up to Friday night’s spectacle, plenty of evidence uncovered that the track was too dangerous and vulnerable to a fatal crash.
Well, it’s a bit too late, when a life has been taken away. But it’s a valuable lesson and the International luge officials are moving on promptly, regretful of the agonizing current events.
Earlier this week, ignoring the ugly crash on the same track was a mistake, and irresponsible on the organizers and officials. There was a Romanian athlete unconscious for a short moment after a bitter crash.
Being unsure of the track has caused problematic crashes that remains unclear, but whatever is triggering a large amount of collisions is a damn shame.
When a sport is comprised of tracks and steel poles, speed standard regulations must be taken into accountability to hinder crashes as much as possible.
So what are the plans to rectify the issue?
Officials have made progress by building a 12-foot-high wooden wall to cover the steel beams. Sad thing is, a death had to happen for them to realize how the track wasn’t properly secured for the sport.
Before practice resumed, workers shaped the edges of the ice at the last curve. For months, though, organizers have raised concern about the course, what is verified as the Course of Horror.
Shame on the organizers and officials for not detecting the problem sooner. Instead, all those overseeing the events lagged and failed in deliberating on whether it was harmless and protected from any danger.
Seventy-three crashes resulted during practice runs. Oh, well, no one cared.
They were apathetic when a racer conveyed that the possibility of crashing was immense. Oh, well, no one offered concern in reducing the riskiness.
No one had the intentions of figuring out or fixing the track, when Australian luger Hannah Campbell-Pegg was seen terrified and cried for help. Isn’t that enough to tell lugers to BEWARE OF DANGER, KEEP OUT OF REACH OF LUGERS?
That’s a sensible sign the organizers may have considered before an Olympic star died on a defective course. It doesn’t take long to realize the sport is threatening lives.
Of late, plenty of luge athletes are leery to test out the track, petrified and stunned in the aftermath.
Sadly, Canada is uttering OH NO CANADA. The refinement of the Winter Games is suddenly gloomy, and just as very little snow continues to fall, the rainy skies are indications of agony.
Whether Canada is proud of hosting the 2010 Winter Games, revealing their cultural aspects with touching spectacles, athletes and spectators are not going to dismiss the excruciating memories of a luger suffering more than a brutal injury, but a senseless death that was avoidable if organizers and officials never mishandled the troubles.
On their home soil, Canadians try to dispel the awful tragedy, ready to compete and stockpile gold medals for the first time at home.
In fairness, we cannot help but to keep the death of Kumaritashvili in our minds, compassionate and alarmed of the overwhelming anticlimax.
During the opening ceremony inside the B.C. Place, Kumaritashvili was paid a tribute in a moment of silence and the P.A announcer announced that the ceremony was being dedicated to Kumaritashvili.
Out of respect, the Olympics owed it to a fallen athlete, who traveled to Canada chasing Olympic gold.
It’s a shame the committees and organizers paid no mind to a death track. In what is an awful prelude to the greatest sporting event in the world, athletes from across the world will compete with heavy hearts, after tears dripped from their hurtful faces sitting at the ceremony.
For a bit of advice, maybe they should have read Campbell-Pegg's lips loud and clear.
“I think they are pushing it a little too much. To what extent are we just little lemmings that they just throw down a track and we’re crash-test dummies?” She said. “I mean, this is our lives.”
She’s right. This is their lives.
Yet, it has cost someone their life.
There were enough safety warnings but Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, wasn’t concerned and issued a statement on the tragedy at a news conference numbed with the stunning development.
“This is a very sad day. The IOC is in deep mourning,” he said. “Kumaritashvili lost his life pursuing his passion. I have no words to say what we feel. It clearly casts a shadow over these games.”
Certainly, anytime someone leaves earth.
And still he’s in denial and embarrassed of the recent turmoil, yet to acknowledge the issue.
“I’m sorry, this is a time of sorrow,” he said.
Really, I felt it was a suitable time to address an ongoing issue.
“It’s not the time to ask for reasons,” he said. “That time will come.”
How about telling us now, Jacques? Guess the course passed inspection after thoroughly investigating the cause of the crashes. Expected earlier today was men’s training, as well as four runs of the men’s competition that gets under way later.
It’s also expected to take place at the women’s starting ramp, where the speed is slower and should be easier to navigate after Luge officials postponed training to tweak the Whistler Sliding Center track.
The International Luge Federation and Vancouver Olympic officials said Friday night the investigation revealed that the crashes were triggered by human error and that there weren’t evidence of track defects.
That’s hard to believe, when a number of accidents have taken place on the same course.
My question ... is it really safe?