[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b75c4a400000000009545a1/image.jpg" link="lightbox" caption="" source="" alt="Luge Crash Olympics" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
The “investigation” into the death of Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili has concluded, and officials have announced what killed him: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. 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.
In other words, Nodar’s death had nothing to do with the fact that, because of the track design, he was going 90 miles per hour (15 mph faster than older tracks), had only a few milliseconds to “make correct entrance into curve 16” after exiting Curve 15 (which the lugers have dubbed the 50-50 curve on account of your odds of exiting it without crashing), and then flew out of a track that, with a small nod to safety, could easily have been covered with netting, Plexiglas, or higher walls and not flanked by immovable steel poles.
(Note also the strategic use of the word “eventually” in the statement, as though Nodar lost control of the sled over a period of months. In fact, the whole thing happened in less than half a second).
So let this be a lesson to you, Olympic lugers! Don’t forget to “make correct entrance into curve 16.” Or else you’ll fly home in a box.
The show must go on!
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