The New York Times today revealed that:
The organizer of the Vancouver Winter Olympics raised concerns that an athlete might be “badly injured or worse” on the 2010 Games’ sliding track about a year before a luge athlete from Georgia was killed while practicing on it, internal e-mails show.And Norman Spector is saying:
In Tuesday’s edition of the New York Times, readers are treated to two stories from Vancouver. As a British Columbian, both caught my attention. One is a very positive report on Insite, the safe injection site. The second is a not-so-positive report on revelations related to the death of Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. At the end of the New York Times report, one reads that, in a teleconference with reporters yesterday, John Furlong rejected suggestions that there was a contradiction between the e-mails obtained by the CBC under Access to Information legislation and his public statements at the time of the death.None of this is new.
I blogged on this a year ago when the story was making headlines in the U.S. and Britain. I also wrote a letter to the editor of the Globe and emailed several journalists. But everyone ignored it, and are now claiming they didn't know.
From the UK Daily Mail February of 2010
Ed Berliner of the Huffington Post said at the same time, in a piece called We are Washing Away Blood on Guilty Hands:
The Vancouver track was tested in advance of the Games. The results were alarming and should have set off not merely concerns about the speed, but how it could affect the competition. Speeds of up to 95 MPH. A 12 percent increase in what was planned and expected. Well beyond the current endurance level of these athletes. Well beyond what left the designer's table. At Vancouver, everyone knew and failed to rectify a nightmare waiting to happen. ...Even Udo Gurgel knew something had gone terrible wrong with his track. This was certainly not what his expertise had designed. After all, Canadian athletes had been training on this course for weeks and months, so they had plenty of time to acclimate themselves. Members of the Canadian team had over 300 runs apiece on this track. Other team racers were limited to 40 runs. No mistake. This was planned.And even a year before that, in October of 2009, the Brits knew that something was amiss: Canada claiming unfair advantage insist British Skeleton.
And from the The Star Tribune, Minniapolis - St. Paul: Canada. No More Mister Nice Guy:
The program represents a significant cultural shift for this nice-guy nation. Canada has not been afraid to hurt other countries' feelings by limiting training time at Olympic venues, a departure from protocol that has drawn criticism outside its borders.Harper was in trouble over his shutting down Parliament for 2 1/2 months to avoid answering questions about Afghan Detainee abuse, so really needed Olympic victories. But at what cost?
That's some legacy. War crimes and cheating at the Olympics.