Georgian luger taken to Whistler hospital after terrifying crash on track
Terry Bell, Canwest News Service: Friday, February 12, 2010 2:30 PM
Luge participant Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia trains at the Whistler Sliding Centre Wednesday. His sled apparently flew off the track during training Friday.
Photo Credit: Peter J. Thompson, Canwest
Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili is en route to Whistler Hospital after a terrifying crash moments ago at Whistler Olympic Park.
Kumaritashvili was going close to 150 km/h, near the end of the course, when he launched off the track. Witnesses say his body hit a metal pole. CPR was performed almost immediately and an ambulance rushed Kumaritashvili from Whistler Olympic Park.
Canwest Olympic Team's Terry Bell has been told that Kumaritashvili hit his head on a metal pole as he flew off the track. Medical personnel performed CPR through a plastic tube.
"It does not look good," says Bell.
Kumaritashvili turned 21 in November. He has competed in luge for Georgia since 2008.
Earlier Friday during training, one of the event favourites got a scare. The 2002 and 2006 gold medallist Armin Zoeggler of Italy crashed rounding corner 11.
Zoeggler slid about 200 metres while holding his sled with one hand to keep from being hit with it. Zoeggler recovered from his crash and took his second run in a fast 47.9 to put him near the top of the training times.
On Wednesday there were several crashes during women's luge training runs.
Romania's Violeta Stramaturaru crashed and was knocked unconscious for a few minutes and was taken to the hospital.
Zoeggler recovered from his crash and took his second run in a fast 47.9 to put him near the top of the training times.