Georgian luger dies after crash in Olympics in Vancouver

Georgian luger dies after crash in Olympics in Vancouver

Georgian luger dies after crash in Olympics in Vancouver

Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died during the training at the Olympic road in Whistler, hitting a concrete column after he lost the control at a speed of 145 km/hour. Kumaritashvili lost control and slammed into a pole on the side of the track. He was given CPR and rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. 

The Georgian delegation held a special press conference soon after the incident. Georgian Minister for Sports and Culture Nikoloz Rurua talked about necessity of investigations of the accident.

“Even during the 2008 Olympic Games, when the Russian troops invaded our country, Georgian sportsmen did not leave the Olympics and even won several medals. It will be the same now. Our sportsmen and our athletes decided to be loyal to the spirit of the Olympic Games and will compete and dedicate their performances to their fallen comrade,” Nikoloz Rurua said. He also demanded a thorough investigation and countered suggestions that Kumaritashvili was not experienced enough to compete.

The rescuers provided the first air to Kumaritashvili who lost conscience due to strong hit. The sportsmen received the urgent direct heart massage and artificial breathing after which he was taken to hospital by the first aid helicopter. Reports say his head was all in blood. The surgery was unable to rescue him. The tragedy occurred at the 16th, final turn, which is well known for its speed. The training was suspended immediately after the incident occurred.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said the incident cast a shadow over the Winter Olympics.

The 21st Olympics opened with a minute`s silence. 5 thousand sportsmen from 80 countries and 80 thousand onlookers at the stadium paid their respect to the young sportsman.

Investigation has already been launched and it will ascertain reasons of the accident. Although, as reported, the track was believed to be too fast and the designer of the Whistler track has called for it to be modified. Besides, it was said, the metal constructions on the track were installed on the most dangerous sector of the track.
The IOC President, teh Canadian government, also US Vice-President Joe Biden made statements regarding the accident. Joe Biden said, Georgia endured lot of difficulties in recent years and this is a tragic loss. The Georgian Minister for Sports said it is a devastating loss for Georgian sportsmen, as well as the Georgian delegation and the whole Georgian people.
The Georgian Embassy in US and Canada is working on all formalities necessary to take the Georgian sportsman` body to Georgia.

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