No single fault in luger's death

DHARM MAKWANA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:13 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- A B.C. Coroner's report found no smoking gun in the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Instead, the 16-page document suggests not a single factor, or distinct set of factors could be identified as being responsible for the 21-year-old Olympian’s death on Feb. 12 in Whistler.

“Rather, one must accept that is was a convergence of several factors, some more apparent than others and with various levels of involvement, that culminated in this fatality,” wrote provincial coroner Tom Pawlowski.

He added high speed was considered to be a factor, as Kumaritashvili travelled at more than 150 kilometres per hour, but other athletes had gone faster.

“It is reasonable to conclude, however, that high speed, in conjunction with other technical challenges presented by the Whistler track, overwhelmed Mr. Kumaritashvili’s ability to surmount the difficulties of that particular run,” Pawlowski said.

Kumaritashvili died of multiple blunt force injuries after he lost control on the track’s 16th turn and collided into a low wooden barrier and then against a metal post.

The report recommends Whistler 2010 Legacies Society undertake a comprehensive safety audit of the Whistler track, the two international luge federations review safety protocols for track design, and greater compulsory venue-specific training for athletes before major competitions such as the Olympic Games.


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