Luger Mourned in Vancouver

Kumaritashvili's body to be flown to Georgia for burial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2010 6:02 PM CST
Luger Mourned in Vancouver
Georgia coach Felix Kumaritashvili, left, is comforted following a memorial for luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.   (Gerry Broome)

The Olympic luger killed in a crash was honored with prayers and candles at a memorial service today, his body beginning the long journey home to his devastated village in Georgia. Nodar Kumaritashvili's grieving coach-uncle, teammates, and international and Vancouver organizers attended the brief private service at a Vancouver funeral home.

Later in the day, Kumaritashvili's body was taken on a flight to Germany, where it will then be flown to Georgia for burial in Bakuriani. "He's on his way home," said the head of the European Olympic Committees. "It was extremely moving and heartbreaking to be there," said the head of Vancouver's organizing committee. "We did the best we could to bring the appropriate environment to bring closure to what happened here." (More Olympic luger dead stories.)

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