February 16th, 2010
05:05 PM ET

Luge dangers exaggerated

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/16/t1.luge.jpg caption="Accidents occur in a luge competition." width=300 height=169]

David Epstein
Special to CNN

Luge is a dangerous sport in which accidents happen. That was the refrain from athlete after athlete when asked how they felt about the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed when he flew off the Olympic track during training in Whistler on Friday.

But luge athletes will be the first to tell you they are more driving technicians than adrenaline junkies, and when pressed about why they would participate in a sport that's so dangerous, several concede they don't consider the sport to be that risky.

Amidst the shock at the death of a young athlete, the fact has been lost that in the hands - and feet - of masters, luge is relatively safe.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Rod

    Of course. As long as you are a "master", sliding down an ice glazed hill on a bath mat at 80-90 MPH is indeed inherently safe. I mean it's not like there could be operator error or an equipment malfunction (there's not much to the equipment to go wrong). So all things considered, yes-as long as they stay just under 100 MPH, luge is relatively safe, no question....

    February 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |