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Luge Coach Believes In Death Penalty


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Some tracks are more challenging than others. And if people are loosing control more often than not, it might be a good idea to slow down a bit. I mean not everyone is goign to break world records and not all tracks are designed to break records. But it is that fine balance between control and chaos. It's a dangerous sport.

Yep...very dangerous. The course was already known to be very fast. Now it is known as being unsafe too.

The reason those area are open is so that if there is an accident, medics can get to the person quick. So, nets along that area could have saved him. I just hope he went quickly.

OK...and I know you don't intend anyone's quick death, but I would hope that any such mishap would be far more survivable, even with injuries.

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I do agree that their could be space for more protective gear in any sport, but I don't think this is purely a product of entertainment value. Athletes are looking to streamline so that they can reach their potential with the least amount of resistance. Also, like the military there is a strong culture of tradition in sport and, while some of it can be disturbed for the sake of greater safety, it's a balancing act.

I think your military comparison is spot on....very hard to get some of the "troops" to don or deploy gear solely intended for safety, even in training. "Safety is for pussies!".

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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I am not concerned so much about the rising speeds but the absence of a commensurate concern about course design for safety. If the expected lawsuit(s) ever goes to trial, there will be a lot of questions about the engineering of the turn, risk analysis, and design steps taken or not taken to prevent injury and/or death. I have yet to read any justification for the very close proximity of the steel hazards and lack of a retention barrier quickly erected in hindsight.

How do you know there is no concern. There was enough to move the starting point which was a large factor in changing the medal results. How do you know there won't be a thorough evaluation of the courses design? You want instant gratification. That kind of stuff doesn't happen in 48 hrs. As for the rest, lawyers will always be lawyers.

..and neither has NASCAR...which slapped a smaller restrictor plate on all teams when cars started to go airborne. Drivers have to wear the HANS device (mandatory) after Earnhardt's death. F1 made HANS mandatory in 2003.

Exactly, on the other hand, the last death in F1 was Senna in 1994.

That's fine, but the IOC/VANOC are not required to facilitate their death wishes on international television.

Are you suggesting we don't televise any sport where death is a possibility?

All true and I guarantee you that there will be a larger peek at what happened here not only by insiders, but more importantly, by outsiders with an objective viewpoint about just how the course was designed given known or likely risks. My expectation as an "unqualified" layperson is that driver/sled oscillations at speed and resulting loss of control should not result in ejection from the course, and failing that, certainly not an abrupt stop by an unyielding barrier.

No doubt and they shouldn't, with the emphasis on shouldn't, which means there are no guaranties.

But it's not just about them....not just a glorified episode of Jackass for gold medals.

Actually, it is about them, the rest of us are just observers. We don't have to go down that track and we don't have to watch them do it.

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How do you know there is no concern. There was enough to move the starting point which was a large factor in changing the medal results. How do you know there won't be a thorough evaluation of the courses design? You want instant gratification. That kind of stuff doesn't happen in 48 hrs. As for the rest, lawyers will always be lawyers.

Screw the medal results....sorry if Canada wanted a "guarantee" of home field advantage. I already expressed that there was concern...but now there will be a lot more concern once the lawyers get involved.

Are you suggesting we don't televise any sport where death is a possibility?

Absolutely not...just that sanctioned events have at least some modicum of oversight and limit on risk to the extent possible.

No doubt and they shouldn't, with the emphasis on shouldn't, which means there are no guaranties.

The proximity of those poles guaranteed something.

Actually, it is about them, the rest of us are just observers. We don't have to go down that track and we don't have to watch them do it.

..and we don't have to pay for the training and facilities, or buy the sponsoring products either. Then they can join Fight Clubs instead.

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Screw the medal results....sorry if Canada wanted a "guarantee" of home field advantage. I already expressed that there was concern...but now there will be a lot more concern once the lawyers get involved.

Not our fault if unlike every other Olympics we had our facilities up and running two years before the games. Oh wait a minute, I guess it is.

Absolutely not...just that sanctioned events have at least some modicum of oversight and limit on risk to the extent possible.

Your opinion but sometimes shit just happens.

The proximity of those poles guaranteed something.

I congratulate you on your 20/20 hindsight.

..and we don't have to pay for the training and facilities, or buy the sponsoring products either. Then they can join Fight Clubs instead.

Then don't.

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Not our fault if unlike every other Olympics we had our facilities up and running two years before the games. Oh wait a minute, I guess it is.

The lawyers will determine that if the insurance company can't reach a settlement. Figure on a split finding of fault between driver, VANOC, and IOC (and any other enjoined parties they can find).

Your opinion but sometimes shit just happens.

This is the nub of the matter for me. That same attitude was heard after Space Shuttle Challenger turned into very expensive and deadly fireworks. Spaceflight is very, very risky business, and failures were expected, but it turned out that all the data was readily available for conditions that would guarantee o-ring seal failure at low temperature. Oh well...shit happens!

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I think your military comparison is spot on....very hard to get some of the "troops" to don or deploy gear solely intended for safety, even in training. "Safety is for pussies!".

I personally haven't ever seen any soldiers disrespect any of the protective gear requirements, but I'd understand if they did. I've been to afghanistan a few times and, as a civie, I wear my protective gear faithfully, right down to the ballistic sunglasses. Still, I know if the lav I'm riding in hits an ied, none of that will protect me except maybe to help keep my body parts more intact for identification. If protective gear becomes more about the perception of safety in an environment where risks are beyond the control of the wearer, how much less significant is it in an environment where you can?

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The lawyers will determine that if the insurance company can't reach a settlement. Figure on a split finding of fault between driver, VANOC, and IOC (and any other enjoined parties they can find).

You have a fixation on lawyers as if they had something to do with what happened. Talk about getting side tracked. Maybe it's just the different attitude toward litigation that exists between our countries.

This is the nub of the matter for me. That same attitude was heard after Space Shuttle Challenger turned into very expensive and deadly fireworks. Spaceflight is very, very risky business, and failures were expected, but it turned out that all the data was readily available for conditions that would guarantee o-ring seal failure at low temperature. Oh well...shit happens!

There usually is, that's where 20/20 hindsight comes in.

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You have a fixation on lawyers as if they had something to do with what happened. Talk about getting side tracked. Maybe it's just the different attitude toward litigation that exists between our countries.

You are naive if you don't think the ambulance sled chasing hasn't already started. The IOC has deep pockets.

There usually is, that's where 20/20 hindsight comes in.

It's wasn't hindsight back in 1986...engineers with data recommended cancellation of the launch in cold weather...they were ignored.

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You are naive if you don't think the ambulance sled chasing hasn't already started. The IOC has deep pockets.

You seem more concerned about lawsuits than the track or its users. But as you keep bringing it up, the IOC's pockets are not your, mine or the competitors problem. As the neither the IOC, VANOC, the venue or the victim and his family have anything to do with the US, I doubt very much this will be subject to a US court and most likely will be settled out of court anyway.

It's wasn't hindsight back in 1986...engineers with data recommended cancellation of the launch in cold weather...they were ignored.

And what was ignored here. Yes some competitors thought it was too fast but it had been in operation more than a year without anyone leaving the track. Even though some were afraid of the place, none predicted that would happen.

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You seem more concerned about lawsuits than the track or its users. But as you keep bringing it up, the IOC's pockets are not your, mine or the competitors problem. As the neither the IOC, VANOC, the venue or the victim and his family have anything to do with the US, I doubt very much this will be subject to a US court and most likely will be settled out of court anyway.

It has nothing to do with the US...believe it or not, there are personal injury attorneys in Canada too. I already said it may be settled before any trial, but it will still involve attorneys.

And what was ignored here. Yes some competitors thought it was too fast but it had been in operation more than a year without anyone leaving the track. Even though some were afraid of the place, none predicted that would happen.

Then you would be in favor of removing all course changes and returning to business as usual? After all, one dead driver every year or so ain't so bad, right?

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Then you would be in favor of removing all course changes and returning to business as usual? After all, one dead driver every year or so ain't so bad, right?

Don't be ridiculous. I'm just saying that you are full of crap maintaining that it was obvious someone was going to come out of the track and hit a post.

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Don't be ridiculous. I'm just saying that you are full of crap maintaining that it was obvious someone was going to come out of the track and hit a post.

OK...let's stop being so polite.....what I am really saying is that any moron who would put unabated steel columns so close to the track deserves the looming lawsuit...in spades. They should make Udo Gurgel and team (if they are responsible for the design and decisions) dig Nodar's grave back home.

I am also confident that weeks or months from now all the dirt will flow about the decisions made on wall height and profile.

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OK...let's stop being so polite.....what I am really saying is that any moron who would put unabated steel columns so close to the track deserves the looming lawsuit...in spades. They should make Udo Gurgel and team (if they are responsible for the design and decisions) dig Nodar's grave back home.

I am also confident that weeks or months from now all the dirt will flow about the decisions made on wall height and profile.

Whatever.

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I consider winter sports to be extreme sports as they demonstratively pit athletes' bodies against snowy, hard and icy surfaces. Broken bones are common, even as experienced by ordinary people slipping in their driveway or on a downtown sidewalk during winter. Yet, these risks don't not seem to deter professionals and amateurs who strive to be the best in those sports. I have heard how sports psychologists work with athletes to overcome the fear factor associated with the risks involved in facing a publicly embarrassing loss or physical injury. All indications are that this lad was afraid of the track.

"He told me: I will either win or die,"

---

"He told me: Dad, I really fear that curve,..

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hz1d6i6u4ZDqOJnxeIv3YB4Z2xzgD9DSQ3GG0

In my view, this is one case where the athlete should have followed his gut instinct and said to hell with the consequences, I'm out of here.

I'm not placing blame on Nodar Kumaritashvili for the deadly crash. Far from it. I'm saying that the pressure put on these athletes to win, win, win, to conquer their fears, to perform under pressure and to not disappoint the home crowd are not worth one's life.

In assessing the tragedy, there were accusations that Canadians hogged practice times on the venues although this is not a new occurrence. All host countries have done it. Had Nodar been allowed more practice time, would he still be alive today? Who knows. Would new rules on practice time sharing reduce injuries or fatalities? I think not. But it would go a long way in salving the conscience of IOC organizers.

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The run he died on was his sixth practice run at the Olympics but it is conveniently ignored that he had run the course 20 times previous to the Olympics and over 5000 runs had been made since the course was opened without anyone being being ejected from it.

As far as I can see, nothing would have stopped him from going down that track on that fateful day. When your times up, your times up.

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As far as I can see, nothing would have stopped him from going down that track on that fateful day. When your times up, your times up.

Probably not but I'm not that much of a fatalist. I just reject the idea that someone should have known this particular event was inevitable. The only thing that is certain in my mind is that it will happen again at some time in the future. There is no way of eliminating all risk from a sport like this. If there was, it probably wouldn't be worth doing. Both my kids were involved in fairly high risk sports and at times it was hard to watch them but it was their passion, not mine and it is their life to live.

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Both my kids were involved in fairly high risk sports and at times it was hard to watch them but it was their passion, not mine and it is their life to live.

It's not that I'm a fatalist. It's that in my view life is rife with surprises, some good, some bad.

My teenage boy was in competitive hockey, and once was unintentionally slashed in the thigh by another player's skate. Seeing him removed blood soaked from the ice on a stretcher made me wretch but did not cause me to withdraw him from hockey because I knew he loved to play. From then on, I attended fewer of his games, but lucky for me he understood.

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Yep...very dangerous. The course was already known to be very fast. Now it is known as being unsafe too.

OK...and I know you don't intend anyone's quick death, but I would hope that any such mishap would be far more survivable, even with injuries.

No, I would not wanted him to suffer from those injuries. And the body does not stand a chance when hitting a steel beam at 92KPH or 92MPH. You don't wear much protective gear if anything.

Most of his back would have been broken instantly, along with ribcage, anyways, I do hope he did not suffer long if at all. Even if there were pads along the side of the track, that man would have survived, but he would still have some injuries. Let alone the brain trauma from either hitting the post, or snapping on something else.

The best thing was probably to die instantly on impact.

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Guest American Woman
One bobsledders opinion:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-features/news/newsid=433011.html#u+s+women+first+look+whistler+bobsled+track

If true then I would ask how these things get designed this way. Who are the "experts" who would approve such designs, either in the VANOC or IOC.

Competitors definitely seem to be of two minds regarding the track; some feel it unsafe because it's too fast while others find it exhilarating and challenging.

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One bobsledders opinion:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-features/news/newsid=433011.html#u+s+women+first+look+whistler+bobsled+track

If true then I would ask how these things get designed this way. Who are the "experts" who would approve such designs, either in the VANOC or IOC.

VANOC and the IOC don't approve these tracks, that is up to the sled associations themselves. I doubt anyone in VANOC or the IOC knows much about designing one of these things. You hire an expert to do it, just like in a good golf course.

"On November 15, 2004, VANOC announced that they had hired Stantec Architectural Limited, the designers of the 2002 Olympic sliding track, who would provide the detail design and site master plan of the Whistler Sliding Centre. Construction began on June 1, 2005, after the design had received environment approval from the Canadian Environment Assessment Act." ref CTV website.

Looks like it was designed by the same people who did the Salt Lake facility.

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