Saturday, February 13, 2010

A few thoughts on the Luge

This will likely be my last post for the evening. I wanted to address the status of the Luge event in the aftermath of the Friday tragedy. The officials have made modifications to slow the speeds and have added some extra height to the sides near the point in which Nodar Kumaritashvili left the track and struck the poll. The starting point has been moved forward a short distance - this to reduce the speeds that the racers will reach by the time they reach their maximums near the bottom. Of course racing is naturally a sport in which you want to push your limits. This track had a reputation of being built for speed and racers have been clocked at nearly 96MPH. Kumaritashvili was believed to be going about 88 I think. These changes will likely keep speeds down into the 80's - still room for danger. Luge racing is after all not for the faint of heart, but many, perhaps all of the events here have elements of risk. The Canadian lugers are not happy. They have had more time on this track than anyone, and surely must consider this home track to be to their advantage. But Officials I believe have made the right call. This course has claimed one too many lives already.

I have noted across the internet some criticism of the media for showing video of the ill fated run. I think nearly all the times I have seen it shown or offered for viewing on the internet it has been with a disclaimer that it might be disturbing. Those media outlets I've seen that have offered it, I believe hade done so responsibly. While I agree it can be disturbing, it is not within the realm of gory. A warning is appropriate, but it should not be unavailable for viewing.

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