2010 Winter Olympics began on Friday, February 12, 2010 but it didn’t start off on the greatest note. First, that horrible rendition of “We Are the World” which I’ll leave for another blog, hundreds of protesters forced a detour in the torch relay, a technical glitch in the lighting of the Olympian cauldron that Canada spent 7 years building, but more importantly the tragic death of Nodar Kumaritashvili.
21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili, from the Republic of Georgia, was a Luger on the Georgian Olympic team. The luge track is one of the fastest in the games clocking some speeds up to 90mph. From what Nodar’s father, David is saying, he was scared of one of the turns on this track and called him 3 days before to express his concerns. But that didn’t stop this young athlete. Nodar has extensive experience in this sport. He began training in 2003 as a teenager and has competed in Europe.
“His whole life he wanted to be an athlete; it was his dream to be at the Olympics. He was so excited about going. I’ve never seen him so excited in his entire life.” – David Kumaritashvili
Not to long before opening ceremony, Nodar was killed after he lost control of his sled slamming head first into a metal pole during a practice run. Other lugers have expressed concern about this track and its speed. This last turn that Nodar Kumaritashvili was on is usually done at 75mph. He was clocked going 90mph. The man that designed this Olympic track says he is shocked by Nodar’s death. Especially since he has built 6 other Olympic tracks and no one has ever been thrown off of any. Unfortunately, there’s a first time for everything. A young man has died doing something he loves. Hats off to the remaining 7 Georgian team members. I salute you.