Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Lonely Luge

The Winter Olympics are something I am always drawn to.  I love skiing, curling, speed skating, and even the cross country events.  To tell you the truth, I am drawn to the competition, no matter now boring or trivial the sport might be. 

As exciting as the competition might be, Friday, as the games were about to open, we were struck with tragedy.  Some say it should have never happened.  Some say it was just another danger of a sport.

Georgian luger, 21 year old, Nodar Kumaritashili lost control of his luge and was thrown off hitting an unpadded metal pole at nearly 90 miles per hour.  They say it isn't the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop.  As hard as it might be to imagine what that would be like, it's hard to watch.   I learned of the crash via Twitter while having lunch with the Wife and Laura from Vodka Logic.  I wanted to know more, and I was sure that I would get the news I wanted from the news once I was able to watch.

As the Wife and Audrey got ready for their play, I watched The NBC Nightly News as they showed the footage of the crash.  My mouth dropped to the floor.  Tears came to my eyes.  This athlete's death was shown on nationwide television.  Again they showed the crash in slow motion.  Slow enough to see the fear in the athlete's eyes.  In less than 0.01 seconds, he was dead.  

Now technically he did not die on impact, but to show this video not only during the 6:30 Nightly News, but also at the top of the Opening Ceremonies.  Over. And over. And over.  It was classless, inappropriate, and showed a disrespect to this athlete that is completely unimaginable.  Would they have shown the video over and over if it were an American?  

The analysts say it was his lack of experience on the track and this particular track is said to be the fastest and most challenging track in the world.  

I am disgusted with NBC for even showing this video.  As exclusive as it might have been, it was inappropriate to show this horrific death.  

It was probably the scariest thing I have ever seen.  

So as I sit here, excited to watch the competition unfold, I am reminded of how precious life can be. 


~Kenny said...

ummm..just curious do you have a link to the video?

Vodka Logic said...

Very disturbing. If the impact didn't kill him, what did?

Chris said...

Wow, that's crazy. Yeah, the media often shows things it probably shouldn't. What strikes me as curious is the way the media never shows video of war or anything important that's really going on, but they can show things like this, which don't make any kind of statement and are merely for shock factor.

Kelly Muys Wood said...

Disturbing. I didn't see this, but I'm glad that you're calling them out on it. I couldn't agree with you more.



wow. as i live in a bubble i had no idea any of this had happened. awful.

Tino said...

I, too, watched in horror as they showed this on both the NBC local news and then again and again on the coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Whether he died as a result of loss of control or not, he doesn't deserve to have that horrific moment played out again and again for a worldwide audience. Oddly enough, the IOC has now claimed copyright infringement on almost every YouTube post that tried to show the video.

The whole thing just disgusts me. Bravo for saying what you did.

MommyV said...

*completely* agree. I was horrified that they were showing the actual footage. As my husband and I watched, I was SURE this was b-roll of another run, another athlete, SOMETHING else other than his last run.

And yes, I think they would have exploited it if it were an American. That's how the media is. Anything to make a buck, get a rating.

Leah said...

I saw it and also saw the footage they showed of the bronze medal winner in the speed skating when he fell in his trials in September and nearly bleed to death on the ice. I suppose they equate it to watching a train wreck. Remember how many times the media showed the shuttle exploding in 1980 and the planes crashing into the towers on 9/11. But American nearly went off the luge track in the same exact place the Georgian luger crashed. The American was saved because the wall was built up higher since the fatal crash and it pushed him back down into the track instead of flying out and hitting a pole. So...the question remains, was is REALLY the inexperience of the athlete or was it an unsafe track??

Jenny DB said...

I agree with you completely.. shame on NBC

Shawnee's Girl said...

When we saw it we couldn't believe that the showed the WHOLE THING. I know I can ask why they did such a despicable thing, but the truth is the media is out of control at times. To me this is just an extension of the media's obsession with hashing out every sordid little detail of anyone with any fame's downfall. Combine that with the amount of news (what is it 4 or 5 24 hour news channels now, plus hours on local channels) means the grittier the better. It is disgusting. Then any time it is pointed out the get to shield themselves with free speech. It isn't about freedom of speech some times, it is about treating the people behind the stories with some humanity and decency. ARGH!

Anonymous said...