Saturday, February 13, 2010
Luge Track To Reopen With Raised Wall
((HT: Vancouver Sun/Jeff Lee))
The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee released a statement saying both the British Columbia Coroners Service and FIL ((The international luge federation))officials had investigated the accident that killed Georgian luge Nodar Kumaritashvili ((pictured, thanks Peter Parks/AFP-Getty Images)). The federation concluded Kumaritashvili failed to make a correction once he entered the final curve and slammed into an unprotected steel pillar.
"It appears after a routine run, the athlete came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make correct entrance into curve 16," the FIL said. "This resulted in a late entrance into curve 16 and although the athlete worked to correct the problem he eventually lost control of the sled resulting in the tragic accident.
"The technical officials of the FIL were able to retrace the path of the athlete and concluded there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track."
The organizing committee said that based on the FIL's report, the decision was made to reopen the track "following a raising of the walls at the exit of curve 16 and a change in the ice profile."
Training runs have resumed as of Saturday afternoon.
The "changing of the ice surface" has resulted in a shaving of the ice itself and a modified exit of Turn 15. A 12-foot wooden fence has been placed in front of the steel girders at Turn 16.
The start of the competition will be moved further down the track from the old starting line position. The women's start ramp will be the beginning of the men's races and training.