Sunday 14 February 2010

Sporting regards

Sport, in one form or another, has figured quite heavily in this house since this weekend. Friday saw the 21st Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony. Neither of us stayed up to watch the live broadcast, and my appetite for the Winter Games was somewhat stunted (perhaps even wiped out altogether) when, just as I was heading for bedfordshire, Hubby saw an online news bulletin about the awful death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. It's as if the Games are tainted, I don't know if I can enjoy the excitement of my favourite armchair thrills from the bobsleigh and the luge (which are indeed my top two Winter Game disciplines) without thinking of that poor boy.

What somehow makes this most unfortunate event much worse is the conclusions of the officials who investigated (didn't take them long, did it?) the incident. "Human error", they pronounced confidently. So that's OK then. Nothing the matter with our run, it was that silly Georgian who didn't know how to steer his luge proper, like. So does that mean that every luge rider competing on that same track must now ensure their run is 100% faultless? Is there no margin for error in the mighty Whistler Sliding Centre track? The reason for the Georgian's loss of control of his sled may indeed have been a steering error. But, for heaven's sake, did the track designers not for one instant think to include some tolerance into their creation? Apparently not. Be warned, luge riders, don't go making any mistakes out there.

As a footnote to this story, I was also most disgusted that the editor of the France 2 main evening news bulletin thought it was acceptable to air video footage of the Georgian's accident. Not only does this show massive lack of respect for the deceased and his family (I wonder if the editor's child had died violently and suddenly, would he be happy to see the footage on national TV news?), but nobody thought to warn viewers of a more sensitive disposition (me, then) that they might like to look away. Indeed, the footage was shown twice: first in the headlines, and again in the actual news item. I knew it was coming the second time round and turned away, unwilling to be party to their sinister death-pornography.

I was going to add a grouse about yesterday's 6 Nations result, but on reflection, I'm leaving that out of this post.