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The Winter Olympics 2010: Luge Athlete Dies after Crash

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February 12, 2010

Tragedy struck on the day that the Olympic Games opened: An athlete died.

Nodar Kumaritashvili, of Georgia, lost control of his sled during a training run for the luge and crashed into a steel pole. He did not survive the collision. He had also crashed on an earlier training run.

He was 21.

Kumaritashvili was to make his Olympics debut. His father, Felix, had raced bobsled on the world stage and was also a coach, both of his son and previously of the French national team. Felix was watching when his son crashed.

Other athletes reported a slick track, and several crashed as well, although no other injuries were reported.

It was the fourth death at a Winter Olympics. An athlete died in a964 and 1992, and a team doctor died in 1988.

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