Investigation of fatal luge accident finds human error, not track problems

human error‘ was to blame for the crash, not the track design itself.

It appears after a routine run, the athlete came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make correct entrance into curve 16. This resulted in a late entrance into curve 16 and although the athlete worked to correct the problem he eventually lost control of the sled resulting in the tragic accident.  The technical officials of the FIL were able to retrace the path of the athlete and concluded there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track.
There have been several other accidents on this track, in both luge and bobsled.  One corner is now known as “50-50 corner” as you have a 50% chance you’ll crash coming through it.  There are others who still blame the track, even in light of the official report from the Olympic committee. From a layman’s perspective, it looks kind of silly to have large metal poles located on the ‘downwind-inertia’ side of the track, i.e. the place where the body would naturally go in a crash.  But watching the horrific luge crash video you see his body did sort of go back and forth and I’m not certain the ‘flow’ of the track led to him going in that direction any more than it would have resulted in him jumping the wall in the other direction had he crashed a bit earlier. Vancouver residents have set up a makeshift memorial to luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in the city center.]]>

Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony cost $38 million

$38 million.  While this was dwarfed by the Beijing Olympics, it certainly is upsetting some who feel the money should have been spent on <insert cause of the day here>. Even at $1,100 a ticket (for the opening ceremonies) it is unlikely that ticket revenue alone is going to pay for this event. (UPDATE.  60,000 * 1,100 = $66,000,000, so that’s not bad). Other top event tickets are going up in price on the fan ticket exchanges for the Olympics, but the biathalon is still a bargain at $70.]]>

Full video of the Olympic Luge Crash of Nodar Kumaritashvilvi

This is really hard to watch. For those who have not heard, the luge athlete from Georgia was killed today in a freak accident on the very dangerous luge track in Vancouver.  Nodar Kumaritashvilvi accident propelled him off the track and into a steel girder at nearly 90 mph, which caused injuries that eventually cost him his life. A special moment of reflection will be held tonight during the opening ceremony.  IOC officials are meeting with the luge federation in an emergency meeting as to whether the luge will take place at the Olympics or if any other changes might be made to the schedule. Nodar was 21 years old. The full video of his run can be seen on NBC Olympics (requires the free Silverlight plugin).  It is graphic, partially in the sense you look at him and know what is coming. As NBC is limited to the USA, you might find other links here: Buzzfeed Seattle Post The IOC is shutting down Youtube videos for copyright reasons nearly as fast at they are being put up. ]]>

The US Olympic Team Opening Ceremony uniforms from Polo Ralph Lauren

The only thing bigger than the USA logo on the US Olympic Team’s Opening Ceremony outfits is the Polo Ralph Lauren horse that appears on the front of each jacket. I remember when some folks were upset to see the Nike swoosh. They’re going to have a field day with this. At least the hat is relatively logo free. UPDATE:  The “Moose” hat which was worn in the opening ceremony is already a very hot seller.  Ebay is sold out, but I’ve got one (L/XL) that I’ll be auctioning off shortly.  Check back for the link or goto Ebay to find it. Here is the link to my EBAY sale.  24 hours only.  Ends Monday Night The Polo collection mirrors the 1920s look that the US Olympic team wore in Beijing. Sort of a throwback to the roaring 20s look, but at a definite 2010 price tag. The wool hat is a top seller.  You can’t find them in stores and the only place I’ve heard that has them in stock is the USA store in Vancouver.  You can find them on ebay, but you will spend nearly $400-$500 to get one (yes, seriously). If you have $400 you might like this sweater a bit more.  It’s quite nice and was worn by most of the team during the opening ceremony. ]]>

Vancouver 2010 Olympics–Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations order of entry

Unlike Beijing, in which the nations entered in Chinese alphabetical order, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver will have the nations arriving in French alphabetical order, English order according to some published reports.  Of course there are two exception–Greece will be first, and Canada will be last (as the host nation).  The USA will be the 82nd nation to enter. The opening ceremony is being dedicated to the memory of Nodar Kumaritashvilvi, the Georgian luge athlete that died earlier today. This is the best list I can find so far.  We’ll see if I can find a better one before the parade starts.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cayman Islands
Czech Republic
North Korea
Great Britain
Hong Kong
New Zealand
San Marino
South Africa
South Korea
Chinese Taipei
United States

Olympic iPhone Apps review

NBC has a formal application that is complete with news, schedules and some (delayed) video from the games.  We’ll have to see if there are any competition videos or whether it just remains the ‘touchy feely’ Olympic stories NBC is famous for producing.   It also parses in the Twitter updates from Olympic athletes, such as Apollo Ohno. NBC Cheer is a great app for annoying anyone within listening distance of you.  You can select the standard “USA-USA” cheer but then overlay things like ‘cowbell’ or ‘whistle’.  I just tried it out on the wife who glared at me with a ‘shut-that-f#$%-thing up’ look after only a few seconds.  A must have to be sure. 2010 Vancouver is a guide for those who find themselves in Canada during the Olympics.  It has information on venues including maps and directions on how to get to different spots.  It also has a list of official twitter events (including the Torch, which has a twitter feed I guess and some of the IOC tweets).  Good to have if you are going. CTVOlympics is all the coverage you could want, from a Canadian point of view.  It has a news and photos section along with some venue information, and might be a good alternative if you just can’t stand NBC’s take on things.]]>

China 2008 Olympic gymnasts cleared in age controversy, but 2000 medalists under more scrutiny

The New York Times is reporting on a ruling that is ending the debate on the ages of China’s gymnasts in the 2008 Beijing games, but opening the debate about the 2000 Sydney team.

”We are satisfied with the information provided by FIG, and we now consider the (2008) matter closed,” said Emmanuelle Moreau, spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee.

”Clearly they feel that there is more to be looked at for Sydney,” Moreau added. ”We encourage them to pursue their inquiry and shed some light on these cases. We now rely on them to get to the bottom of that and get back to us.”

Unfortunately, the report doesn’t say ‘why’ they believe this to be the case, what killer piece of evidence they’ve obtained or anything to that effect. We’ll have to see what comes out in the next few days.


Syndey Olympics in 2000 mimed (lip synced) their opening ceremony too

Are these real fireworks you now have to ask?

It only took 8 years to fess up, but after the controversy in Bejing about the lip syncing of two little girls in the opening ceremony the Syndey Olympic Commitee has confessed that the Sydney Symphony did not actually play during the opening ceremony, but instead mimed their parts to a recording by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Needless to say the Australian press is having fun with this:

The admission has columnists in Melbourne — which has a longstanding rivalry with glitzier Sydney — crowing over the fact that its musicians ghosted a crucial performance by their arch-rivals.