Olympic luger was frightened of track before death

The day before his death, Nodar Kumaritashvili called his father to express concern over one of the Whistler track’s turns.

From ESPN.com:

The athlete killed on the luge track Friday told his father a day before he died in a training run that he was “scared of one of the turns,” David Kumaritashvili told The Wall Street Journal.

“I said, ‘Put your legs down on the ice to slow down,’ but he said if he started the course he would finish it,” Kumaritashvili said, according to The Journal.

Kumaritashvili, a Soviet-era luger himself, told the newspaper his son would have been able to compete in two more Winter Games and that Nodar’s Olympic dreams stemmed from childhood.

“He was brave,” Kumaritashvili said.

I can just see Kumaritashvili tensing up before hitting the fateful turn. The Olympics only happen once every four years and are perhaps the largest opportunity to represent one’s country on the international level. I’m sure Kumaritashvili felt it was his duty to compete. Sadly, while undoubtedly riddled with fear, he died.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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