Tragedy shouldn’t taint dreams of athletes

The death of the 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritasvili, on what has been deemed “the most dangerous track in the world” has caused much controversy. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge emotionally addressed the press to speak about the tragedy. The opening ceremonies were dedicated to the Georgian athlete and the IOC declared that the trend towards faster and faster luge tracks was to end now. Additionally, in order to ensure the safety of the other athletes, the track was altered; a wall was heightened where Kumaritasvili crashed, the ice profile was changed and the entire track was shortened.

But one man’s death, however tragic, should not taint the entire Olympic games. Nodar Kumaritasvili should be mourned, yes. However, one cannot expect his death to hinder the Olympic dreams of the other athletes. These athletes have trained their entire lives and have come from all over the world to compete in a sport they love for the glory and honor of their country. These lugers know the risk involved in their sport, and they chose to participate anyway. Throughout the centuries people have died in combat, but people still enlist because they want to serve their country, just as the Olympians do. We do care who wins, but I like to believe that sometimes the country and the medal are not what matters. What matters is the people and their stories.

Alex Wagner,

senior in LAS