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Luge Run Safe or Not
Old 02-13-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Luge Run Safe or Not

I hope this Georgian guy's family gets found by a tough PI attorney. What a bunch of crapheads the "officials" are.

Ha

Probe: track didn't cause luger's death - 2010 Olympics - Yahoo! Sports

Romanian women's luger hurt in crash - 2010 Olympics - Yahoo! Sports
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:46 AM   #2
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I wondered why they don't pad the steel posts to begin with? At least pad the first 5 feet of the post.
(This is very sad. I'll never look at that sport quite the same.)
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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Fling a body at 80+MPH at something and it is going to need to have a pretty thick pad to allow for deceleration without injury. Very sad for his family, but a good death at arguably the best most perfect moment in his life.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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I wondered why they don't pad the steel posts to begin with? At least pad the first 5 feet of the post.
(This is very sad. I'll never look at that sport quite the same.)
I'm NOT sure what type of 'pad' on a steel post keeps someone going 80+mph with only a helmut alive. There doesn't appear to be any reason NOT to build up the walls and keep the athletes on the track at least. This isn't the safest sport in the world and I'm sure there will always be some danger involved. Just like the downhillers and jumpers and tricksters. A bad fall and a snapped neck and it's all over 'sept the cryin'.

I told DW last night the accident investigation would conclude human error, since the 'pilot' was dead. Just like an airplane crash - pilot survives ~ mechanical malfunction -- pilot dies ~ pilot error QED. What needs to be asked is; would he have died if those walls were just a lil higher? And what other parts of the course could be modified to improve the athletes safety?
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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It seems to me that something like a plexiglass "retaining wall" rising from the pipe to go up a few feet might help. Then when you go out of control, you glance off the wall and back into the track without flying out as an 80 MPH+ projectile. Then again, I'm not a designed of luge tracks, so what do I know?

Seems like they made this course too damn fast to be safe, really.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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No where near auto racing standards if they can leave the course and hit a pole like that. While it may be standard practice now, it needs to be improved.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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No where near auto racing standards if they can leave the course and hit a pole like that. While it may be standard practice now, it needs to be improved.
This is my point also. It is a sport played against the clock, in comparison with other humans performing that same day. There is no justification for not designing in greater safety, even if the track were slowed somewhat. This particular track is supposed to be especially fast.

Horse racing is also a dangerous sport; and furthermore when a bad spill happens not only human jockies are injured but at times very expensive horses are lost. The racing industry has responded by converting many tracks to artificial surfaces which they hope (and expect) will be safer. The high class tracks with expensive horses are in the forefront of this project, even though all tracks have human jockies.

Perhaps if the organzers of the Olympics had a bigger stake in the lives of the athletes they might weigh things differently.

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Old 02-13-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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Those luge guys are nuts anyway. Tragedy waiting to happen...
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:35 PM   #9
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Apparently this is only the second death ever on a luge track. Obviously flinging yourself down an almost frictionless tube at increasing speed is an inherently unsafe activity. If that's what these athletes want to do, they do so at their own risk. But I do think that there is an obligation to ensure that any activity sanctioned by the Olympics is not associated with excessive risk. 48 hours ago, they did not have the information they have now. Today, they must make it safer for those athletes who do not have the expertise to maintain control of their sleds. I understand they have built a retaining wall in front of those steel supports and will be starting the races further down the track, thereby reducing the ultimate speed attained.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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The news this morning said the track is designed to be the fastest in the world and that they are changing the part where the accident happened. These guys are unprotected. Cars are designed with restraints, cages ect and drivers can walk away from high speed wrecks but some are still injured or killed.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:09 PM   #11
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That was a very unfortunate incident. I don't ski or snowboard or luge but when I watch the winter olympics it all looks quite dangerous to the competitors.
You have ski jumping, doing flips on skis, snowboarding where you flip twist spin etc, bobsledding at enormous speeds, downhill skiing at breakneck speeds, luge and on and on....
I agree that the luge track could have been designed with more safety in mind but what about all of these other sports?
Everybody play at your own risk I guess. You have to admire the ones that get the medals. They earned them.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:16 PM   #12
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... I understand they have built a retaining wall in front of those steel supports and...
They already HAD a retaining wall. However, with the speed it obviously was not sufficient.
I am glad they have build better ones.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #13
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pads would do no good...gotta keep these guys in the track with higher walls....its not rocket science


it really sucks for this guy (duh) and his family. i found it repulsing that they showed it several times...have some friggin tact and respect this man and his family
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:55 PM   #14
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:25 AM   #15
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I think that the accident was a freak one... he hit the corner just right with the curve just right to lift him out of the course...

Was the course designed bad Well, as someone said, yes, now we know there was a flaw... but before it was probably designed to the best they knew...

Most of what I have heard on the shows, nobody was saying it was more dangerous than others... just faster.

As for the comparison with auto racing... who remembers the cars crashing and coming into the crowds a long time ago... they then built a fence... then there were some crashes where the tires came off and went OVER the fence... they put chains on to hold them... it is usually after someone is killed when something happens to change things...

But even these changes were to protect the spectator.... there are still drivers who are killed in bad accident in car racing.. it seems luge is much safer than car racing... and even football and baseball... based on the number of people killed....
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:15 AM   #16
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The Luge Run is safe. Now that rapid deceleration is hard to survive.

OTOH

Why Vancouver officials say luge track is now safe / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:33 AM   #17
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Most of what I have heard on the shows, nobody was saying it was more dangerous than others... just faster.
Wouldn't this automatically make it more dangerous, all other things being equal? Remeber, E=MV2.

Apparently luge officials last year discussed design speed limits on future tracks. There is an excellent series on this tragedy in the WSJ. I doubt this track will ever be used again full length, or that that any other tracks will use the same design.

The officials are typical sniveling ass-coverers, and today Georgian President Saakashvili called them out on it. As he put it, a mistake in sport is not supposed to lead to death. IMO, this is ecpecially true when the element of human design and artifice is as strong as it is in this type of sport. The deceased was not a mountain climber, where the mountain itself presents the challenge and dangers. They were designed in, as were the consequences of various departures from optimal running.

If no one made errors in his runs, all would finish first.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...lineHighlights

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Old 02-15-2010, 12:54 PM   #18
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Wouldn't this automatically make it more dangerous, all other things being equal? Remeber, E=MV2.

Apparently luge officials last year discussed design speed limits on future tracks. There is an excellent series on this tragedy in the WSJ. I doubt this track will ever be used again full length, or that that any other tracks will use the same design.

The officials are typical sniveling ass-coverers, and today Georgian President Saakashvili called them out on it. As he put it, a mistake in sport is not supposed to lead to death. IMO, this is ecpecially true when the element of human design and artifice is as strong as it is in this type of sport. The deceased was not a mountain climber, where the mountain itself presents the challenge and dangers. They were designed in, as were the consequences of various departures from optimal running.

If no one made errors in his runs, all would finish first.

Georgia Leader Has Sharp Words for Luge Federation - WSJ.com

Ha

But that statement from the Georgian president is BS... there are a lot of people killed in the normal course of sports... and some don't make any mistake per se...

Football and baseball players are killed because of head injuries.. I was surprised to hear that some kids are killed in baseball by being hit in the chest with a hard hit ball.. seems it stops the heart for some reason...

Is the death 'acceptable'? No, it is not. But at the time there was not reason to believe the dangers were there for death... injury, yes, death no.


As an aside... who saw the short track race? There was one guy from America who almost killed himself when he fell... cut his leg bad. They said it was very close to ?? (femeral?) artery in the leg... if cut, he would have bled to death... from ice skating...
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:27 PM   #19
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But that statement from the Georgian president is BS... there are a lot of people killed in the normal course of sports... and some don't make any mistake per se...

Football and baseball players are killed because of head injuries.. I was surprised to hear that some kids are killed in baseball by being hit in the chest with a hard hit ball.. seems it stops the heart for some reason...

Is the death 'acceptable'? No, it is not. But at the time there was not reason to believe the dangers were there for death... injury, yes, death no.


...
I believe that I drew a careful distinction between the types of deaths that you cite, and this one. 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.

Apparently others can see this distinction also, see here what the luge governing body was thinking, long before this accident.

Luge Group Had Discussed Limiting Speeds - WSJ.com

This is about all I'll say on this. As I said earlier, run design will never be the same, mainly due to the considerations that I have mentioned.

Ha
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:34 PM   #20
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But that statement from the Georgian president is BS... there are a lot of people killed in the normal course of sports... and some don't make any mistake per se...

Football and baseball players are killed because of head injuries.. I was surprised to hear that some kids are killed in baseball by being hit in the chest with a hard hit ball.. seems it stops the heart for some reason...
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.
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