• Winter Olympics

Georgian team to stay in honour of Kumaritashvili

ESPN staff
February 13, 2010
The Georgia team wore black armbands at the opening ceremony © Getty Images

The Georgian team will stay and compete in the Winter Olympics following the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili in a luge training crash on Friday, the Minister for Sport and Culture said.

Kumaritashvili lost control at speeds approaching 90mph and slammed into a pole on the side of the track. He was given CPR and rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said the incident cast a shadow over the Winter Olympics while the designer of the Whistler track has called for it to be modified. The small Georgian team have been left in a state of shock but will compete as a mark of respect to Kumaritashvili.

"Our sportsmen and our athletes decided to be loyal to the spirit of the Olympic Games and will compete and dedicate their performances to their fallen comrade," Nicolos Rurua said.

Rurua also demanded a thorough investigation and countered suggestions that Kumaritashvili was not experienced enough to compete.

"That particular venue has been shut down and an investigation is under way," Rurua said. "I hope that the promise we had from officials for (a thorough investigation) will be carried through.

"Speculation about his experience seems unfair and misleading. He was 44th in the world ranking. During training yesterday he took 11th spot."

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