Friday, February 12, 2010

Luge death: didn't anyone learn anything from Diana's assassination?

AUSTRALIAN luge athlete Hannah Campbell-Pegg warned that Whistler's superfast luge course would kill somebody - and 24 hours later it happened.

Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, died after he slammed into a metal pole during his final training run at the Whistler Sliding Centre, sending shockwaves through the Games community.

His luge flew up the side of an ice wall, throwing him into an unpadded pole on the 1450m luge course, billed as the fastest on earth with speeds of up to 150 km/h.

The lesson of this accident is that you just don't put immovable columns near high-speed tracks, roadways, etc. without guardrails, barriers, or whatever is necessary to prevent any possibility of a catastrophic collision. This should be obvious, and I'm appalled that nobody did anything about the hazard.