UnNews:Officials: Luge crash "not our fault"
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13 February 2010
WHISTLER, B.C., Canada -- Olympic officials unanimously concluded that the freak accident that claimed the life of a 21-year-old luger was "nobody's fault--certainly not ours."
Within sight of the finish line, Nodar Kumaritashvili of the Republic of Georgia slammed into an unpadded steel pole at 90 mph, where doctors say the last thing to go through his mind was probably his collarbone. At the finish line, officials quickly switched a giant TV screen, which had been showing the action, to an old episode of the Teletubbies.
Officials decided against any major changes in the track or delays in competition, and even doubled up on the schedule. They did offer to wrap a little duct tape on the fateful pole, "to avoid that such an extremely exceptional accident, which is above all not our fault, could occur again."
The International Luge Federation and Vancouver Olympic officials issued a joint statement that the luger was late coming out of the next-to-last turn. According to the statement, "The athlete took that turn a little high, and that's just what he gets." Nevertheless, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, visibly shaken by the day's events, said "Statistically, hurtling down a luge track is actually one of the safest places you can be."
For months there had been worries that the course, built for unprecedented speed, was too technically difficult--except for the Canadian hosts, who had plenty of time to practice on it.