‘Tragic Georgian in our hearts’ | other | Hindustan Times
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‘Tragic Georgian in our hearts’

Indian luger Shiva Keshavan said he carried in his heart the memory of tragic Nodar Kumaritashvili who was killed in a luge accident in Whistler.

other Updated: Feb 14, 2010 23:44 IST

Indian luger Shiva Keshavan said he carried in his heart the memory of tragic Nodar Kumaritashvili who was killed in a luge accident in Whistler.

The 21-year-old from Georgia died on Friday after he lost control of his sled, was flung off the Whistler Sliding Centre's track before smashing into a metal pillar.

Keshavan witnessed the horror crash.

"Right now, I am going to focus on the race and carry him (Kumaritashvili) with me in my heart," said the 28-year-old Indian. "The accident happened in front of me, I have never seen anything like it before and I was telling myself not to believe it.

"It is fresh in our hearts today, we can't compete with joy."

'Our hearts broken': luger's father

BAKURIANI: His hands shaking after two sleepless nights and his voice cracking with emotion, Nodar Kumaritashvili's father said Sunday the Georgian luger's death had devastated his family.

"Our hearts are broken," David Kumaritashvili said outside the family home in the mountainous Georgian resort town of Bakuriani. "He was so young, his whole life was ahead of him."

As a steady stream of local villagers arrived at the home to offer condolences, Kumaritashvili's mother Dodo sat in the family living room, surrounded by photographs of her son and wailing inconsolably.

Standing outside in the snow, Kumaritashvili, 46, said his son had been a devoted athlete who had dreamed of competing at the Olympics.

"His whole life he wanted to be an athlete, it was his dream to be at the Olympics," he said. "He was so excited about going; I've never seen him so excited in his entire life."

Kumaritashvili said he had heard that video footage of his son's tragic death was being broadcast around the world, but could not imagine watching it himself.

It’s all over for me, says 47-yr-old

Ruben Gonzalez's unlikely Olympic adventure will slither to its finale on Sunday when the 47-year-old Argentine former photo copier salesman completes his final two runs in the men's luge competition.

"Speedy" Gonzalez was so shaken by the horrific death of fellow competitor Kumaritashvili on Friday that he has decided to call time on an Olympic career that began in 1988.

"I realised at the opening ceremony last night that this wasn't for me any more," Gonzalez, who finished the first two runs in last place eight seconds off the pace, told reporters.

"Yesterday gave me a new perspective. There are other things to do in life," added the father of two.