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Old 02-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #21
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..I have a son who is a boarder and has ridden the double black diamond slopes of most of the big western mountains, as well a a lot of back country riding. I wish he didn't do this, but at least I can see that the danger is presented by nature, weather, etc, and not by faulty human design, or a desire to imprudently push the envelope and achieve records.
I don't quite get your distinction.
Is your son's snow-boarding not more dangerous specifically BECAUSE he IS trying to, in your own words, "push the envelope"?
Yes, there was a death in a sport which obviously is very dangerous.
And yes, better design probably COULD have prevented the luge riders death. But I don't see the difference between this sport and others in which deaths occur.
Just because better gear/design could prevent a death, doesn't mean that the course/gear was "faulty".
Or if it does, perhaps we should make all sports 100% safe?
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:30 PM   #22
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We could have much safer luge runs- at half the gradient, sand the corners, disqualify anyone caught exceeding posted "safe" speed limits- maybe even training wheels and speed brakes.

IMO, the responsibility for the crash ultimately resides with the contestants- they are the ones who have had a chance to familiarize themselves with the venue, know their own abilities, equipment, and limitations, and make the go/no-go decision.

This was a tragic accident- but it was just that, an accident- unfortunately in our litigous society, there is no such thing as an accident anymore, just the opportunity for litigation and finger-pointing by newly created luge design and safety experts...
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:31 PM   #23
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I don't quite get your distinction.
Is your son's snow-boarding not more dangerous specifically BECAUSE he IS trying to, in your own words, "push the envelope"?
Yes, there was a death in a sport which obviously is very dangerous.
And yes, better design probably COULD have prevented the luge riders death. But I don't see the difference between this sport and others in which deaths occur.
Just because better gear/design could prevent a death, doesn't mean that the course/gear was "faulty".
Or if it does, perhaps we should make all sports 100% safe?
This really doesn't seem that hard. Mountains and weather are part of nature, luge runs are designed by humans.

Ha
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:20 PM   #24
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I saw a quote in the news today that before the fatal run he had told his father that he expected to either win the event or die. While perhaps he didn't literally mean what he said, it does seem to indicate that the competitors were pushing the risk envelope deliberately in reaching for greater speeds.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #25
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Well, that is true, and we can not make anything 100% safe. But I think when there are additional safety features that can be built in with reasonable cost and effort, it should be a no-brainer to do it. I'm no luge track designer, but even I can see the potential (and at least partially avoidable) for a luger to fly out of the top of the track outer bank of a turn if you come into it too fast and in a bad position -- becoming a human projectile at 80+ MPH. And that being the case, putting anything hard and immovable (like the beam the Georgian luger struck) in the potential path of such a human projectile coming out of curve seems like an unnseccessary safety hazard that could easily be reduced (if not eliminated) by using other design features (such as raising the retaining wall in front of those beams to keep the out-of-control luger in the track and not as a projectile in collision course with certain death.

I agree with what you write... but we are looking at it now that we know someone can be hurled out and die...

Prior to this incident, no one has died in a LONG time in luge (IIRC, only one prior to this)... injured, yes....

So, the design was with a lot of experience of how people react with the ice... I bet if he hit a foot either way, he would still be alive... one way for sure he would have been going down the track out of control... the other way he probably would have bounced off from wall to wall... he appears to have hit a place that had a little bit of curve to it that lifted him up and over...


Did anybody see the guy who hit the 'ceiling' the other day? He went up so high he hit the wall at the top.... but he controlled his slide after that and was just fine...
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:48 PM   #26
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This really doesn't seem that hard. Mountains and weather are part of nature, luge runs are designed by humans.

Ha

Ski runs are designed by humans.... so I do not see the distiction either... if they wanted it more safe, put in bumpers so you don't go into the trees... or just saw down every tree that is anywhere near there...

But to do that takes some of the 'fun' out for some people...


Maybe they should get rid of a sport that some guy lays flat on the top of a small board with rails and barrels down and icy slope...

And my point is that there are risks in almost ANY sport... we just don't know them all. They all can not be designed out, like the skater who cut his leg and almost died... you need a sharp edge or you can not turn...
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:28 PM   #27
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This really doesn't seem that hard. Mountains and weather are part of nature, luge runs are designed by humans.

Ha
Ha, you yourself mentioned that you wish your son wouldn't take the double diamonds.
Who do you think engineered the double diamond run?
Sure, the mountain was there first. But the runs are designed to be easier or more difficult.
Just as the luge run was designed.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:43 PM   #28
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And my point is that there are risks in almost ANY sport... ..
Gee, I really had no idea!

Ha
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:51 PM   #29
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As someone once said, Hindsight is waterproof.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:53 PM   #30
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As someone once said, Hindsight is waterproof.
I always thought hindsight was 20/20...
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:11 AM   #31
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If you take out all risk, you take out the thrill. This doesn't mean reasonable precautions shouldn't be taken. It is the choice of the participant to decide whether they wish to take part. I don't get the American interest in American football (I am American), but people take part in it and enjoy watching it because of what it is....a collision sport. People WILL get hurt...make it as reasonably safe as possible, but it is ultimately THEIR choice to participate.....or not. I think it is one heck of a lot more dangerous to ride my bike on the roads than any of these sports. I made the decision to stop riding (at least for a while) because I decided the aggressive drivers were making me too uncomfortable. There are things you can do to make things a little safer, but as long as there are bikes and cars on the road....the risk remains. I chose to stop.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:26 AM   #32
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Gee, I really had no idea!

Ha

Glad I could help educate you.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:19 AM   #33
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Hey, the Olympic committee must have read our posts, because they are padding those posts the luger died on, as well as, making other modifications.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:34 AM   #34
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NBC had a commentator on yesterday and he indicated that the Olympic committee made some decisions 20 yrs ago to spice up the Winter Olympics due to sagging viewership. They added former X-game sports in an attempt to attract the younger crowd. Each sport felt pressure to add some risk to ensure they would not be dropped from the games. Longer, faster runs, higher walls on the half-pipe and so on. And guess what? it worked as the ratings are through the roof.

He indicated that the luge run was designed to be 10 mph slower than it was on opening day. He thinks an investigation as to why it became faster is in order. He seemed to be credible, however I do not remember his name.

It is telling that the retaining wall that was requested and denied was built and painted in less than 12 hrs after the crash.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:24 PM   #35
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As I said isn't hindsight great! Wow the monday morning quarterbacks are out in force. Let's look at stock car racing. No one ever thought a car could jump the retaining wall the fence and land in the crowd killing people. I mean No ONE... but it did, and they took measures to correct it. If the officials thought a luger would exit the course there and hit a beam, they would have corrected it, and now they have.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:26 AM   #36
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Speed and Commerce Skewed Track's Design - WSJ.com
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #37
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If the officials thought a luger would exit the course there and hit a beam, they would have corrected it, and now they have.
Empirical data is hard to ignore...
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