Lugers to Start on Lower Track

International Olympic officials announced that men’s lugers will start their race at a lower point on the same track that claimed the life of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili Friday. The men will compete from the women’s start ramp, which will make the course easier to maneuver, and a bit slower. The men had been reaching speeds of 95 miles per hour in training earlier this week; Kumaritashvili was moving at 90 m.p.h. around the last curve when he hit an unpadded steel pole. That curve has been modified with a wood wall to cover the beams, and the curve's exit has been changed. American Tony Benshoof, who injured his ankle on the track earlier this week, navigated the 16 turns without incident. For months, luge experts had worried that the track was too difficult and dangerous, but Olympic officials blame human error for Kumaritashvili’s death, saying he came out of the previous turn late and didn’t correct himself.