Monday, February 15, 2010

Luge Track in Vancouver: Troubling Questions Remain

The sad loss of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili has really dampened our enjoyment of the Winter Olympics at our house, and I suspect we are not alone. Real questions remain about the cavalier attitude surrounding the ultra-fast luge track in Vancouver. Ron Rossi, head of the American luge team has been outspoken about the situation, (though others disagree) including raising an issue on design flaws of the track.

"They [the Canadians] knew they had problems from day one. They had people hitting the wall and going airborne. If you were already concerned about it and you already raised the wall, why didn't you keep going? And why didn't you protect the [metal] posts at the chance that maybe something could happen? I'm not the one to answer but that's the kind of question that needs to be asked."

The financial success of the Olympics depends on fans--those who tune on the TV and also buy all the items endorsed by Olympians and advertised during broadcast coverage. I would encourage all of my readers to speak out of the value of sport and safety, and let it be known that the desire for record-setting should never trump the importance of protecting young athletes from physical harm.


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