With only hours remaining before the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics there has been a horrifying accident causing the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, a 21-year-old Georgian luger.
Kumaritashvili was thrown off the sled as it bounced over the rim of the lightning fast track at the Whistler Sliding Centre at around 90mph and slammed into a pillar as reported by Reuters.
The 21-year-old was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to revive him.
The crash at a Whistler track regarded as the fastest in the world destroyed a mood that had been one of celebration, as Vancouver prepared to welcome the world.
According to CTVolympics.com the Georgian team is considering withdrawing from the Games, which begin officially tonight with the Opening Ceremony. There are seven other Georgian athletes at the Winter Games.
This is the third known competition or training death at a Winter Olympics. Both previous deaths occurred at the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck and one of them came in luge.
How truly sad. My deepest sympathy go out to the family and the Georgian team during this very difficult time.