Olympic officials said they would raise the wall where the slider flew off the track and make an unspecified “change in the ice profile”- but only as a presentative measure “to avoid that such an extremely exceptional accident could occur again.”
Nodar Kumaritashvili crashed and slammed into an unpadded steel pole while traveling nearly 90 mph. Actually there were worries that the venue was to technically difficult and a lack of significant practice time would result in a rash of accidents. However, the Olympic officials said their investigation showed that the crash was the result of human error and no indication the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track.
Late entrance into curve 16 caused Kumaritashvili lost control of the sled, resulting in the tragic accident.Sliding diagonally, Kumaritashvili smashed into a corner entering the final straightaway feet-first. He was knocked off his sled and sailed in the other direction, apparently hitting his head before coming to rest on a metal walkway. His sled stayed on the track and skidded to a stop near the finish line.
Under giant Olympic rings near the medals plaza in downtown Whistler, mourners placed candles and flowers around a photograph of Kumaritashvili, on his sled and barreling down the track. Around the photo, an inscription read: “In Memory of Nodar Kumaritashvili, May he rest in peace.”
“I have no words to say what we feel,” said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, visibly shaken by the day’s events.
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