12 Stories

Russian Made Unprecedented Offer to American Luger

'If you have the fastest equipment, why would you give it to anyone else?'

(Newser) - Ironically, the frosty relationship between the US and Russia doesn't extend to the frozen curves of Olympic luge. “This goes against every Russian-USA stereotype ever but one of the Russian athletes actually wanted me to use his sled,” Reuters quotes Chris Mazdzer as saying. Mazdzer made US... More »

Skater: Flag-Bearer Coin Toss Done 'Dishonorably'

Shani Davis tweet hints race had something to do with luger Erin Hamlin getting picked over him

(Newser) - It was a feel-good story for a few hours: Luge veteran Erin Hamlin gets the chance to enter her last Olympics carrying the US flag into the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games, winning that distinction after a vote by some of her fellow athletes. And then Shani Davis tweeted.... More »

Oops: US Luge Team Loses Its Sleds

Pennsylvania State Police are on the case

(Newser) - Little embarrassing: The national luge team has lost its working supply of training sleds and needs the Pennsylvania State Police to help find them, the Express-Times reports. Gordy Sheer, a director of the US Luge Association, says he failed to latch their U-Haul truck properly in the pouring rain—and... More »

US Bobsledder: Whistler Track 'Stupid Fast'

Swiss Olympian pulls out for 'safety reasons'

(Newser) - Calling the Olympic sliding track "stupid fast," American bobsledder Shauna Rohbock said the venue that took Nodar Kumarishtavili's life could generate speeds too dangerous for racing. "I think they went a little overboard on this track," Rohbock said last night. The silver medalist at the 2006... More »

Georgians Mourn Olympic Luger

Hometown hails promising athlete with funeral feast today

(Newser) - A nation that had hoped to watch one of its most promising young athletes compete in the Olympics gathered instead today to mourn luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. Thousands flocked to his family's home for a traditional funeral feast. Inside, the body lay in a coffin, surrounded by Orthodox Christian icons and... More »

Deadly Luge Track Design Driven by Tourism

High-traffic location meant Whistler run had to be steep and narrow

(Newser) - The harrowing speed and difficult turns of the sliding track at the Vancouver Olympics that claimed a luger’s life last week are the result more of the bottom line than any premeditated design decision. Seeking to keep revenues up after the Games, officials located the track at tourist-friendly Whistler... More »

Luger Mourned in Vancouver

Kumaritashvili's body to be flown to Georgia for burial

(Newser) - The Olympic luger killed in a crash was honored with prayers and candles at a memorial service today, his body beginning the long journey home to his devastated village in Georgia. Nodar Kumaritashvili's grieving coach-uncle, teammates, and international and Vancouver organizers attended the brief private service at a Vancouver funeral... More »

Team USA Ends 86-Year Drought

And Canada finally gets a gold at home

(Newser) - US Olympian Johnny Spillane ended an 86-year drought that few Americans even knew existed. He took a silver in Nordic combined skiing, a mix of ski jumping and cross-country. "After 86 years of trying we are actually legitimate," said US coach Tom Steitz. "We are all going... More »

Olympic Track Terrified Dead Luger

Nodar Kumaritashvili told his father he was scared of one of the turns

(Newser) - The Georgian luger who died during a training run on Friday told his father he was fearful of the very track that killed him. "He called me before the Olympics, three days ago, and he said, 'Dad, I'm scared of one of the turns,'" said David Kumaritashvili of... More »

On Perilous Track, Officials Quick to Blame Dead Luger

Kumaritashvili's death glossed over, despite safety worries beforehand

(Newser) - When Nodar Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled and slammed into a metal pole at speeds nearing 90mph, it wasn't entirely unexpected by Olympic officials, who had privately worried that the luge track in Whistler was too fast—for four sliders in particular, one of which was Kumaritashvili. Nevertheless, notes... More »

Olympic Officials Try to Slow Luge Speeds

Start of men's race will be moved 190 yards

(Newser) - Olympic officials insist their luge track is safe, but they're trying to slow down lugers anyway. In the wake of yesterday's fatal crash of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the start of the men's races will be moved 190 yards to the start of the women's races. That alone could bring speeds down... More »

Olympic Luger Dies Following Practice Crash

Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia lost control of his sled

(Newser) - Just hours before the opening ceremony, an Olympic luger from the country of Georgia died today after a crash during training near Vancouver. Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, lost control of his sled, went over the track wall, and struck an unpadded steel pole near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Center.... More »

12 Stories