Should Canada have given foreign athletes more training time?
Sun, February 14, 2010

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

Did Canada's quest for an Olympic home-field advantage go too far? That's the question being asked after one of the most perilous sliding courses in the world turned deadly Friday morning.

Was luger's death Canada's fault?


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This is an old story. The host country is always to blame. Look to Salt Lake City, same thing. But the Americans want to take pot shots at Canada for doing something every host nation does. Hypocracy at its best.
Brian B, 2010-02-14 23:32:03

As an American, I believe that if Canada only did what other nations have done in the past, then no. I would put the IOC at fault for spending too much time focusing on the look, size and potential revenue money over saftey. The competition to host the games can drive planning committees to push things farther than they might otherwise. The athletes risk their lives and the host nations often lose money; all so a few wallets can collect the money. There may need to be some regulation or safety standards for all venues from this point on.
Elizabeth, 2010-02-14 20:37:26

I forgot to add at the end

RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Becky, 2010-02-14 20:27:14

Americans tend to whine more when they don't have the outright advantage... and leave out the other half of the story.

The guy messed three times prior to this on the same corner; you'd think he would have learned "Hey, this corner is tricky, maybe I should slow it down?"

But no, he crashed, died and now everybody is up in arms about something which was ultimately up to the athlete himself.

If I jump off a bridge, should the bridge designer be accountable for the fact that I am "able" to hurt/kill myself?

The fact that this happened on a training run means exactly what another poster said; this could have happened a month ago, a week ago, etc. The pilot was going too fast for that section of track - he had been down it a few times before,

Tragic, but the nanny state shouldn't kick in here.
Bob, 2010-02-14 19:19:39

Canada's fault? Of course it was Canada's fault. If it wasn't then why are they increasing the height of the wall and adding padding? Too much attention on "Owning the Podium" than on safety for the Athletes. Obviously the money spent was in the wrong place as so far Canada's tally is only 2 medals.
James, 2010-02-14 19:03:47

“I understand that countries want to win, but please justify to me why you wouldn’t let the Georgians train,” Ron Rossi.

I feel that it is terribly irresponsible for a man in Mr. Rossi's position, to make statements like this. I have been wrong more times than I care to admit but if I am to believe the news reports about this incident, this tragic event happened during a "training run"...

Canada can not bear the full weight of responsibility for this tragedy because of our "own the podium" campaign. If I am not mistaken, we followed a model set by many host countries before us.

My heart goes out to the family, friends, teammates and countrymen of Nodar Kumaritashvili. Their loss will be felt for a long time. The Olympic Games will forever be a painful reminder of this tragedy. For this, we should all feel a sense of loss.
Lance Marchand, 2010-02-14 19:02:09

The constant whining of that Australian woman is really annoying. She seems to be loving all the media attention. If the Georgian luger had had more training runs, wouldn't he have just had a similar accident earlier? ALL Olympic host countries have an edge in training time. This was just a very tragic ACCIDENT.
Amanda, 2010-02-14 18:44:04

My first thought was the same as craig's. Why are there not nets - similar to what you see on the downhill ski course, etc.

Many factors led to this:

1. Pressure to win put on the athletes including pressure that they put on themselves.

2. Ignoring some obvious safety precautions - see above and craig's comments.

3. Desire to continually step things up for ratings (i.e. dollars), etc. This was apparently the fastest track on the planet - why was this necessary? A slightly slower track is still a level playing field for everyone and safer.

4. I note from other comments and news reports that it's common practice for the host country to restrict access to the facilities for visiting athletes - that doesn't make it right. More practice runs might have allowed the Georgian luger time to become comfortable with this very challenging track without rushing things.

Hopefully this tragedy will be reviewed and not dismissed like some of the writers here are doing - some future changes will be warranted.


Jake, 2010-02-14 18:30:43

That depends on the rules or common practice of the host nation that is expected for the games. What is the practice policy?

Than maybe answer the question.
Janney, 2010-02-14 18:26:19

The accident as tragic as it was, should not be indictative of training time as all the athletes are foreign to a new track. what is important in my opinion is what hazards may exist around the track area in the event a sledder goes out of control, and what can be done to contain the sledder within the track area.
BK, 2010-02-14 17:48:52

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