A Georgian luger was killed during a training run at the Olympics today when he flew out of the track at 90 MPH and hit a steel pole.We understand that the luge is inherently dangerous. What we don’t understand, having watched the video of this horrific crash*, is why the tracks are constructed in a way that makes it possible for lugers to fly out of the track at 90 MPH and hit steel poles.
The curves on the track are covered for a reason: So lugers won’t fly out of them. The straightaways, where Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed, are completely open and absurdly easy to fly out of, especially when travelling at 90 mph.
We imagine that the luge straightaways are kept uncovered so spectators can see the lugers whiz by. But wouldn’t it be possible to cover the straightaway with clear Plexiglass (or at least higher walls) so accidents like this can’t happen?
* The video of the crash keeps getting uploaded to YouTube and then quickly stomped out by the copyright police (even though it is obviously news and therefore not a copyright infringement). If you want to watch it (warning–it’s very disturbing), keep searching YouTube and you might catch it before the copyright police arrive.
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