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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I'm sick and tired of our typical Canadian way of looking to blame ourselves for something unfortunate. Yes, I'm sorry this young man died, but from what I'm reading, he was inexperienced to be going the speed he was. Doesn't that put him at fault? People say other countries didn't get enough time to train. I doubt it was any different in Turin or Salt Lake City for the hosts. Stop looking for reasons to criticize ourselves.
Dave, 2010-02-14 17:41:21

It's a non issue.

Any time tragedies happen there are people who use it to push their agendas.

Most likely there will be some bureaucrat that regulates the sport to unreasonable levels.

The issue has already been dealt with; the wall was built up to prevent it from happening again.

There, it’s done! Don’t push the issue!
Henry, 2010-02-14 17:39:11

How can we put the blame on anyone when the sport itself is partly to blame. Athletes go down a course at approx. 140 kms an hour while laying on a tiny sled with 2 runners. There is bound to be accidents. This was very tragic and if it happened on a ski jump or another venue would there be blame?
Nick Vandale, 2010-02-14 17:36:57

I issue of lack of time on the track as an excuse for the accident it crazy. He died on a practice run, so how would more time prevented this? The inexperience of the athlete, and the fact his own comments just prior to his run lead to his death. Quote, " I'm going for the track record." If this had happened during the actual racing, there might be some truth to this argument.

All racers we given the 40 trial runs and then some prior to the start of the games. We followed all IOC rules. We gave athletes more time than 2 previous winter games.
tommy, 2010-02-14 17:02:15

During World War II, before he became president of the United States, Harry Truman headed a committee that investigated government military contracts, that eventually saved the American taxpayer $15 billion dollars. Many times he had contracts canceled on companies that were building defective engines, airplanes, etc. Some people were jailed.

In his biography, he describes such practices as "murdering kids". An unsafe luge track was built for these Olympics and those who built and approved it should be classified the same way. If a small child drowned in a school pool that was later found to be defective, a formal investigation would be launched and criminal charges brought. Hiding behind an "international sporting event" is no excuse. The people involved brought shame, dishonor, and death to Canada and their repeated evasion of responsibility only brings more shame. Ben Johnson's doping brought a full inquiry. This is far worse because it cost an athlete his life. Let an investigation begin and charges brought.
Steve Thompson, 2010-02-14 16:38:18

The accident is tragic and an unfortuante side of what can happen sometimes in dangerous sports. I would hope the athletes are being allowed access to the track as it would be a hollow win for Canadian athletes if they won on the advantage. To say that a mistake should not lead to death in a dangerous sport is foolish and naive. Death in sports happen, it is sad and thankfully it is not common. I think athletes that like Hannah Campbell-Pegg who has been boldly critical of the track, Canadians... sound foolish and are looking for any excuse to cover the fact that they are to scared and simply not good enough to be on there.This is probably the most coverage she will get as she is probably not podium material. I feel horrible for the loss of this young athletes life. Just as I felt bad watching Greg Moore die and Dale Earnhardt, * Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, Georgia – Luge – 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver

* Nicholas Bochatay, 27, Switzerland – Speed Skiing – 1992 Winter Olympic Games, Albertville

* Jorg Oberhammer, 47, Austrian Team Doctor – Ski Collision – 1988 Winter Olympic Games, Calgary. I feel bad hearing of any athlete losing there life but it can happen. Life has been lost with a small bump to the head, on the bunny hill on standing position on skis= Natasha Richardson. SOmetime sad things happen. If the International Luge team and World Luge Federation helped to design and approve this track for the athletes. So before everyone starts chucking stones they need to really sit back and realize these games are a world effort. THere is always a risk with high speed sports.
Becky, 2010-02-14 15:32:06

The athletes themselves are just as much to blame for pushing the envelope as are the olympic organizations. There is the ever present desire by athletes to set newer, faster goals, and set new records, especially at the olympics.

Canada's policy was no different than any other host country's policy. 40 training runs should be more than enough to prepare for a race, and if it isn't enough for an athlete, then perhaps that athlete is not experienced enough to be competing at a top level in his or her sport.

To blame the track and the organizers is a cop-out that doesn't recognize the athletes' own complicity in such a tragic occurance. Sports are dangerous, and yes, when you push the envelope, fatalities can sadly occur on occasion. But pushing the envelope is exactly what top athletes do on a daily basis. It's part of what competetive sports is all about.


Michael Grant, 2010-02-14 15:31:54

This is a very tragic incident and could have been avoided by placing catch nets along the upper walls like ships that go to sea they have nets to catch people that go over the flight deck. I am surprised someone hasn't come up with this already.
craig, 2010-02-14 15:06:41

Just listen to the whiners! It is a tragedy that someone died, but Canada did no different than any other host country. They applied the current rules and abided by them. If the others don't like the rules GO HOME.There is always another day.
R. Davies, 2010-02-14 15:03:26

If the accident had occurred during competition then yes, you could say it was caused by lack of access to the track. It happened during a training run so could have happened Friday, or a month ago if he was training then.

From what I have heard, Canada has allowed more access than others do, so to me,this was just a tragic accident that happened to a young, inexperienced luger. Very sad.
G.T. Hamelin, 2010-02-14 14:39:01

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