WHISTLER, Canada, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died on Friday in a practice crash before the official start of the Vancouver Olympics.
Kumaritashvill had a serious crash in the final run of the official training for the men's singles on Friday in Whistler.
The 21-year-old slider lost control of his sled, went over a wall, and slammed into a metal support beam. Observers said his sled was traveling nearly 90 mph.
The Georgian luger was knocked unconscious and treated onsite by medical staff. Then, he was immediately air-lifted to a Whistler hospital where he died.
The 2010 Games would have been Kumaritashvili's first Olympics.
Kumaritashvili's crash occurred at the fastest part of the track, which steeply declines for 152 meters, making it the world's longest luge drop.
This is the third crash there in the last two days. Earlier on Friday, defending gold medallist Armin Zoeggeler of Italy lost control but suffered no injuries.
On Thursday, Romanian woman luger Violeta Stramaturaru crashed and was air-lifted from the track. Her injuries are not considered serious.