When I saw the sickening video of the fatal crash of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on Friday, my immediate reaction was, why weren’t those vertical support beams covered? By the next morning they had been,and the track speed had been reduced, although the IOC was blaming the young athlete’s inexperience for the tragedy.

An editorial in The Globe and Mail (February 14) has called for a coroner’s inquest into the matter to address the many disturbing questions that still linger. The Vancouver Sun’s Cam Cole, in a marked departure from CanWest’s Games cheerleading, listed these on Saturday:

“Why was the luge track with the record vertical drop running 20 km/h faster than it was designed to be? How could there be exposed steel posts a few feet off an outside curve where athletes are travelling 145 km/h? Was the athlete, ranked 44th in the world, expert enough to handle the dangerous course?

And, most disturbingly: might Canada, in its zeal to protect its athletes’ home- course advantage, have inadvertently contributed to the likelihood of crashes involving lower-ranked athletes who hadn’t had sufficient opportunity t train on such a wild, fast run?”

Disturbing indeed. If Canada’s “zeal” to “own the podium” played any role in this athlete’s death, that would be downright criminal.

The Globe is right: a coroner’s inquest should be called, and held, without delay.