Olympic Officials Try to Slow Luge Speeds

Start of men's race will be moved 190 yards
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2010 4:56 PM CST
Olympic Officials Try to Slow Luge Speeds
Armin Zoeggeler of Italy starts a men's singles luge training run Saturday.   (AP Photo/Charlie Krupa)

Olympic officials insist their luge track is safe, but they're trying to slow down lugers anyway. In the wake of yesterday's fatal crash of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the start of the men's races will be moved 190 yards to the start of the women's races. That alone could bring speeds down about 6mph. They're also raising the wall near the crash site and tweaking ice angles in spots.

Track designers anticipated speeds of 87.5mph when they built this facility, but training runs have been regularly clocked at 96mph, reports the Wall Street Journal. "We did not expect these speeds on this track, but after a while we determined that the track was safe," said the chairman of the International Luge Federation. "I'm not saying this track is unsafe. I'm just saying that in the future we don't want it to go any faster." (More 2010 Vancouver Olympics stories.)

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