Georgian luger fourth-ever Winter Olympian to die

Updated: February 12, 2010, 5:12 PM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili is the fourth competitor to die at a Winter Olympics, with none coming during competition.

Kumaritashvili died following a crash during a training run Friday morning, hours before the opening ceremonies. That's similar to the circumstances surrounding the first death -- Australian downhill skier Ross Milne, who died after striking a tree during a training run shortly before the start of the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. British luger Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki also died in a training crash in Innsbruck.

At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, Nicholas Bochatay of Switzerland died after crashing into a snow grooming machine during training for the demonstration sport of speed skiing on the next-to-last day of the games. He was practicing on a public slope before his event was to begin.

Also, at the Calgary Games in 1988, Austrian team doctor Jorg Oberhammer died after falling under the tracks of a snow-grooming machine.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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