Georgia’s president understandably frustrated with Olympic officials

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, like any sensible human, doesn’t agree with Olympic officials that one of his nation’s athletes, luger Nodar Kumartshvili, is responsible for his own death.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“There were questions being asked about this place,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said. “There were suggestions that the wall should have been higher there.”

Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed when he lost control of his sled at about 80 mph, flipped over the lip of the track and slammed into an unpadded roof support post. Saakashvili reacted to suggestions that the 21-year-old athlete lacked the necessary experience to handle the course.

“They said that what happened yesterday was because of human error,” the president said. “Well, with all due respect … one thing I know for sure, that no sports mistake is supposed to lead to a death.”

Even some veteran lugers had previously commented on the difficulty of the Whistler track. Officials are now extending the wall along the lip, Saakashvili said.

“But I think the best news would be if, in the future, they listen more to the grievances of sportsmen,” he said. “And we don’t have to do things in the aftermath.”

The International Luge Federation and the Vancouver Olympic Committe are the ones who refuse to take responsibility for the tragic accident. They are morons. You see all the crying and the mourning from these guys in their suits, but their deep-seeded insensitivity is just disappointing. All they had to do was express regret for not taking the proper precautions. That’s it.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Japanese snowboarder banned from opening ceremonies because of clothes

Japanese snowboarder Kazuhiro Kokubo, who is expected to contend for a medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics, was banned from the welcoming ceremony in Vancouver after Japanese Olympic Committee officials weren’t pleased with his dress attire.

From Yahoo! Sports:

With his sagging pants, untucked shirt, and loosened tie, Kokubo looked like any sloppily dressed 21-year-old. But that’s not going to fly. According to one Japanese Olympic Committee official, “It is not the way the Japanese delegation should dress themselves while taxpayers’ money is spent on them.” Uh-oh.

Kokubo, who is expected to contend for a medal, was banned from a welcoming ceremony in Vancouver after there were complaints about his clothes. The snowboarder followed that up by saying the Olympics are “just another snowboarding event,” and that they are “nothing special.” Uh-oh again.

When I first read this, my thought was who cares? He’s a 21-year-old snowboard – how else do you expect him to dress?

But after giving it more thought, it’s nice to see that the Japanese Olympic Committee is taking this seriously. The Olympics are not only about competing for your country, but also representing it both in and out of events. How hard is it to wear your suit the right way when you’re out in public? Especially when taxpayers are footing your bill to compete.

Trey Kerby of Yahoo! Sports put it best in the above article:

The anti-authority stance permeates snowboarding, but there are certain times when you have to play nice. One of those times is the Olympics. Your country is paying for you to represent them. You get the chance of a lifetime to do something hardly anyone else gets to do. And it’s all free. Pretty sweet deal. So just go with the flow.

Well said.

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

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

The opening ceremonies are tonight on NBC.

Complete TV listings
Complete event schedule
Official Site of the Vancouver Olympics

Related Posts