Defining Sport: Luge is one

by pittcaleb Email    2337 views


Lest anyone ever thought that Luge was not a sport, today unfortunately, Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili reminded us that it truly is one.

I have long argued that for an activity to be defined as a sport, there much be legitimate risk of death during the participation thereof. Because of this definition, I have removed NASCAR Driver from the list of "sports" I follow. It's a fun hobby, just no longer a sport.

Marlin Fishing remains one as does the Olympic sport of Fencing.  Until today however, although dangerous, I never listed Luge (good ESPN article about accident) as an official PittCaleb sanctioned sport.

I feel horrible for the man, his family and his countrymen.  However, as ESPN notes, Nodar was nowhere near the top ranks in the Luge and quite possibly, he was literally out of his league attempting to participate on this stage and in this venue.  The Olympics has brought us wonderful feel good moments, such as the Jamacian Bobsled Team and Eddie the Eagle, but most of these sports remain downright dangerous.  Competing at the top level in all but Bridge is dangerous and perhaps, as we see now, deadly.

I hope the Luge, the aptly named Skeleton (luge with more danger, IMHO) and the Bobsled competitions run over the next fortnight without any repeats of what happened today.  I hope those less qualified will see this as a wake-up call and withdrawl and those that attempt to be the best, find the finish line safely.

If you're interested in the video of Nodar's final run, it is over at LiveLeak for the time being.  It's not graphic in the blood & gore sense of the word, but a man does fly into a pillar and die at the end.  Watch at your own discretion.

Updated: How prescent was this quote by British performance director Andy Schmid, "Please, let there be no accidents there because that could kill the sport."  I neglected to mention, as noted in the ESPN article and the one quotes in this paragraph, the fear athletes had with this bobsled/luge/skeleton run.  Both articles will give you the full background.