Archived Story

Editorial: Complaints fell on deaf ears until tragedy struck

Published 11:57am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

It is truly a shame that before the Winter Olympic Games even got a chance to get going, tragedy struck.

The death of a Georgian luge competitor during a practice run seems to have been preventable if anyone had been paying attention to what was being said about the dangerous speeds of the track and the lack of safety features.

Perhaps the reason why no one was paying attention is because no one seems to want to step up and take responsibility for the tragedy that cast a pall over the entire games as far as we are concerned.

Luge competitors were certainly trying to tell anyone within earshot that there were problems with the amount of speed they were able to achieve the angle of the curve in which the accident happened and a lack of padding on supports throughout the entire track.

But until last week, those complaints fell upon deaf ears.

Now, the best we get out of the people who are in charge is that it was the fault of the track.

Come on. Do you really expect anyone to believe that line?

If the track was truly the reason for the tragedy, then why were the starts for both the men’s and women’s events moved further down the track so speeds would not be as great?

Accidents happen in sports and sometimes people are killed during the competitions, but it usually isn’t for a lack of safety features.

Those features may fail or it is found out at a later point that they were lacking, but the features were in place to begin with. Such was not the case this time, however.

To make matters worse, no one wants to step up and take responsibility, which in our eyes shows a total lack of respect for both the late athlete and the competitors as a whole.
We are also left to wonder why they can cancel the women’s downhill and a few other skiing competitions for the weather, but couldn’t postpone the start of the luge events to give the competitors more time to compose themselves and to honor the memory of the athlete who was killed.

It was almost as if they wanted to sweep it all under the rug, hold the competition and then hope no one would remember the failures of the system by the time the games are over.

That probably won’t happen and it shouldn’t.

We need to make sure that there is a full investigation of the situation, not necessarily to place blame on anyone, but to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

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