Men’s luger dies following training accident

In news that will certainly cast a sobering mood over the opening ceremonies in Vancouver tonight, a 21-year-old men’s luger from the former Soviet republic of Georgia died on Friday after crashing during training for the 2010 Winter Olympic games.

According to, Nomar Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled, went over the track wall and struck an unpadded steel pole near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Center. Rescue workers rushed to his aid within seconds and he was quickly airlifted to a trauma center before losing his life sometime thereafter.

It’s unclear how fast Kumaritashvili was going, but the report states that many sliders have reached over 90 mph on the course. The track (pictured above) is considered the world’s fastest and many Olympians have complained that the course is unsafe. Some also questioned whether or not competitors from smaller nations like Kumaritashvili’s had enough time to prepare for the dangerous track.

The remainder of the men’s training has obviously been canceled for the day.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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