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IOC president pledges more luge vigilance

VANCOUVER — International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Saturday that he will do everything in his power to prevent a repeat of the high-speed crash that killed a Georgian luger.

Rogge said the IOC will work with the sport's governing body after the Games to "take all the steps that might be needed." Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, was killed Feb. 12 when he lost control of his sled at nearly 90 mph during a training run on the track in Whistler and slammed into a pole. Rogge expects to receive results of a luge federation inquiry by April.

Track 'stupid fast': Calling the Whistler track "stupid fast," U.S. bobsledder Shauna Rohbock said the venue where a luger was killed, and at which her event is being held this week, could generate speeds too dangerous for racing.

"I think they went a little overboard on this track," said the silver medalist at the 2006 Games. Rohbock said speeds in the final turns of the 16-curve track are pushing the boundaries of what she thinks she can handle. She was among the bobsledders who got their first on-ice look at the track during a supplemental training session Friday night. Officials added the session in the wake of the luger's death.

Weather updates: First, unseasonable rain and warmth nearly ruined Cypress Mountain, site of snowboarding. Now, a streak of sunny days and clear, cold nights is saving it.

Vancouver organizer Tim Gayda said Cypress, near Vancouver, is in prime condition to meet its next challenge: converting the snowboardcross and skicross course into the parallel giant slalom course after skicross ends Tuesday. "We couldn't ask for any better weather, where it is cold and clear at night and it's freezing that base level right to the ground," he said.

But at the Whistler sliding track, officials pushed back the start of today's final rounds of two-man bobsled because of warm weather. The high temperature is expected to be in the 50s.

IOC president pledges more luge vigilance 02/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:37pm]
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