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Old 25-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
real6
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Default Fear prompts bobsledders to quit Olympics

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/02/25/...ex.html?hpt=C1

Edwin van Calker's sled crashed in the first training heat of the men's two-man bobsled event.

(CNN) -- Tom de la Hunty took Dutch bobsledder Edwin van Calker to the Whistler Sliding Center track one last time Tuesday and asked his driver if he could do it.

He wasn't asking him to win; he was asking him whether he could compete. The coach and his pilot walked the course, and de la Hunty told van Calker to think about it, giving him an hour to make a decision.

Time offered no healing. Van Calker told his coach he just couldn't drive this track and so on Wednesday the four-man No. 1 sled from the Netherlands pulled out of the Olympics.

Because their driver was terrified.
Video: USA advances to semis

"I've never seen someone get to a major event and not compete because they're scared. You keep your inner fears to yourself and do it," de la Hunty told reporters at a news conference. "That's why it's such a popular sport in the military. It's that kind of macho sport. You go over the top together."

Van Calker, ranked 11th on the World Cup four-man tour, crashed on his first run during two-man practice on Saturday. That and the memories of other crashes, including one that resulted in two teammates in the hospital, were too much for van Calker.

He never felt comfortable on the track during the two-man competition when he and teammate Sybren Jansma finished 14th. He and the rest of the four-man team were absent from two training runs on Tuesday, as he struggled with what to do. It didn't help that eight sleds crashed on that first day of training.

And so that night, he made the decision to give up.
It's not about performing. It's about surviving.
--Edwin van Calker
RELATED TOPICS

* Netherlands
* Winter Olympics
* Whistler Sliding Centre

"I have to look after my boys and can't close my eyes to that," he told reporters. "For me, it's not about performing. It's about surviving."

It was a split decision among the team to quit the games, said de la Hunty, who talked about how he told his driver he was making a choice he would regret forever.

"I've told him that to his face,"de la Hunty said, "but as a coach I have to support it because I'm responsible for him sending his team down the track in the right frame of mind."

For Timothy Beck, who wanted to continue, it was a heart-wrenching outcome to his last Olympics.

The man who carried the Dutch flag in the opening ceremonies said there was no tension on the team, but he wasn't the one looking out for three teammates.

"If you ask me if I want to slide I'd say, 'Yes'. But I don't have to steer; I just get in the back and go down. I don't have the responsibility," said Beck.

But he also said he was upset that he'd come to his third Olympics and would not get a chance to compete.

"This was my last chance to do something special," said the 33-year-old, who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics on the track team.

Jansma said he was frustrated because he wanted to show the world the progress the Netherlands has made in bobsled, but safety was paramount.

Arnold van Calker, the fourth member of the team, supported his brother's decision, pointing to the difference in the size of the two- and four-man sleds. The two-man sled is smaller and easier to control. Arnold van Calker, who had his doubts about the safety of the track, worried his brother had lost his nerve and wouldn't be able to steer the big sled through turns 11, 12 and 13.

Not even changes to the track on Tuesday could help reassure the brothers.

"It was a lot better, but for us it was maybe too late," Arnold van Calker said.

De la Hunty pinned some of the blame on Arnold's wife, saying that she had been worried about her husband's safety ever since Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili had crashed and died on the same track during the first day of the games.

"When Arnold is scared and upset, obviously it has influence," he said.

But Arnold van Calker said the death had no influence, and Edwin van Calker agreed that the track was not to blame for his decision.

"It's a challenging and exciting track. You have to deal with it as a pilot. That comes with the job. Sometimes you deal with it less good," he said. "It's nothing to do with the track, just my lack of confidence at the moment."
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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it's a shame. i feel sorry for him.

i have great respect for anyone who is willing to put there life on the line to do something. some people might call me shallow for this but hey who cares

accidents and crashes hurt, full stop. but worst of all they affect the mind.
ask any one who plays or takes part in them, a hard punch or kick, a stay tackle it preys on the mind.

and if your going to do something life threatening and your mind isn't right you shouldnt do it .

also it's not just his own life he'd be risking , it would be the lives of his friends and team mates.

so i for one respect him for his decision, it was a brave one
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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I've always been a firm believer in trusting intuition. I'm sure the crash had some sort of psychological effect, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that their intuition kicked in and advised them not to go through with it. While it sucks, I don't have any ill feelings toward them. It's better that they're wise enough to know their own limitations than risk death for something like a sporting event.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:30 PM   #4
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They must have felt that this track would bring them death. Good on them for trusting their instinct and making a sensible decision.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Yep. Its a dangerous sport and once you are there, then there is alot of pressure on you to atleast compete, so its better that he decided against it and was not worried what others would think. It takes abit of bravery to show that you are scared and nervous, also.........
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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Pffft what a bunch of wimps, you don't become an Olympian with that sort of swishy attitude.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eustacekidd View Post
Pffft what a bunch of wimps, you don't become an Olympian with that sort of swishy attitude.
Yes they should crash and die

That would certainly amuse Illuminati.

The best entertrainment in Colosseum was when somebody was killed.

Last edited by mara; 25-02-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:48 PM   #8
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The whole Olympics is just a bunch of corporate bologna anyway,nobody should risk their ass over such drivel.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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Pffft what a bunch of wimps, you don't become an Olympian with that sort of swishy attitude.
I feel you but at the same time, i think he felt a bad vibe. So i agree with him. Who cares what people think.
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:02 PM   #10
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Pffft what a bunch of wimps, you don't become an Olympian with that sort of swishy attitude.
Bunch of wimps? more like their brain kicked in and they wised up
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
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I hope they don't get treated too badly when they get home.

lucky they're not british, the press here would rip them to pieces
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #12
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What I find so blatantly sad is the fact, after the georgian luge pilot died none of the sportsmen had the ball and honour to wear a mourning badge or something.

The business has been going on as if nothing happened.

RIP Nodar Kumaritaschwili



Unfortunately, he gave his life for greedy and money hungry officials.
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #13
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What I find so blatantly sad is the fact, after the georgian luge pilot died none of the sportsmen had the ball and honour to wear a mourning badge or something.

The business has been going on as if nothing happened.

RIP Nodar Kumaritaschwili



Unfortunately, he gave his life for greedy and money hungry officials.
What's even more sad is those barriers they put into place after, could've been put into place before and even looked like they were meant to be there.
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #14
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What's even more sad is those barriers they put into place after, could've been put into place before and even looked like they were meant to be there.
It just shows that a human life is nothing worth in our fine corporate western decadent society.

Show must go on, it seems.

Bread and games, the romans called it.
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:14 AM   #15
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yes the irish competitor refused to go until it was gritted!
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:37 AM   #16
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Smart man; when your intuition kicks in over a matter of life and death like this, fuck a piece of medal to hang around your neck I say. It must have been so hard to look his teammates in the face and tell them that they won't be competing, MAN, these guys train relentlessly at this.
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Old 26-02-2010, 01:19 AM   #17
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Pffft what a bunch of wimps, you don't become an Olympian with that sort of swishy attitude.
yeah.
they want the glory, but not the hassle.

i suggest chess,then.
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Old 26-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #18
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yeah.
they want the glory, but not the hassle.

i suggest chess,then.
Chess isn't easy either, they'd probably bottle a tense game of that too.
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Old 26-02-2010, 10:27 PM   #19
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This has happened at some other recent games from 2002 I think. So it is repitition of headlines and the collective amnesia in effect.
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Old 26-02-2010, 10:38 PM   #20
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Chess isn't easy either, they'd probably bottle a tense game of that too.
brave words from a man sat at a keyboard

ever been down a bobsleigh run yourself?

no, i didnt think so.

i don't trust you. just my instinct.

now, to business. these olympics have been different somehow. many competitors seemed to be concerned about the run, and it quickly killed one of them.

i sense the usual trickery here. these olympics have been used by vermin, i suspect, to stage their usual despicable rituals

the london olympics will probably be worse, if we get that far. the ZION logo is an indicator to the sort of thing we can expect.
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