Nodar Kumaritashvili was honored with a moment of silence by luge officials and IOC president Thomas Bach on Wednesday, four years after his death just before the Vancouver Winter Olympics. They pledged to honor his memory in his native Georgia with a “lasting memorial.”
Officials have placed a premium on safety in the sport since his death. No major crashes have occurred yet at the luge track in Sochi.
“I think the athletes, from what I can gather, are pretty happy with the courses,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said. “They have all talked pretty positively about the courses. It is always an issue. It always will be in winter sports.”
Bach joined luge officials for the moment, not far from the track where the Sochi sliding events are taking place. Adams also said flowers will be placed at the track in Whistler, British Columbia, on the track where Kumaritashvili died. It’s an effort to help maintain regular with Kumaritashvili’s family.
The luger’s father, David Kumaritashvili, remains a top Georgian luge federation official, though athletes from that country have been largely absent from all international events since.
“We continue to mark that as one thing that, clearly, will remain with all of us who were there and obviously with the family,” Adams said. “That’s an ongoing thing. It doesn’t finish today or indeed in four years’ time because we will continue to work with the family to come up with a really good lasting tribute to his memory.”