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Fatal luge track worried VANOC: CBC probe


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Fatal luge track worried VANOC: CBC probe

Memos include warnings 'someone could get badly hurt'

Last Updated: Sunday, February 6, 2011 | 11:35 PM ET .

Michael Drapack, CBC News

Eleven months before Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed on a practice run at the Vancouver Olympics, VANOC officials discussed the possibility of an athlete getting "badly injured or worse."

The scenario was discussed in emails the CBC obtained through British Columbia’s Access to Information Act.

The email thread was written after VANOC, the Vancouver Olympics organizing committee, received a copy of a letter from the International Luge Federation (FIL) in March of 2009. FIL had sent the letter to the track's designer, expressing concern about the speeds on the track.

Tim Gayda, managing director of sport for VANOC, begins the thread, writing: “There is nothing to do on our side but it does put in writing concern about the speeds of the track if there was ever an incident.”

But VANOC CEO John Furlong had a very different take on the FIL letter.

“[imbedded [sic] in this note (cryptic as it may be) is a warning that the track is in their view too fast and someone could get badly hurt. An athlete gets badly injured or worse and I think the case could be made we were warned and did nothing.”

Furlong’s email is in stark contrast to his public comments about how little concerned VANOC was about the possibility of a bad accident on the luge track.

“It’s not something I prepared for, or ever thought I would have to be prepared for,” he is widely quoted as saying after Kumaritashvili’s death... (continued)

Full article: CBC: Fatal luge track worried VANOC: CBC probe

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This is such a non-story. Really.

The thread posted by CBC is about problems with Cesana, the Torino venue. Same designer, but Cesana had some many issues the test events were cancelled. The thread shows that Vanoc exercized due diligence.

And that the IFs through the entire venue development process (design, approvals, redesign, construction, homologation, test events) certified the track. There's lots of tracks longer than 1300--several longer than the Whistler Sliding Centre.

The problem is someone who never should have been competing from the men's start in a high stakes event among sliders way more skilled then himself. "I'm going for a track record" were apparently his last words. His coach should've stopped and said "don't be stupid."

It's all horrible; CBC's timing is especially charming (one year anniversary).

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