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riderboy
Feb. 12, 2010, 08:09 PM
Very,very sad news out of Vancouver today regarding the death of a Georgian luge athlete. Viewing video of the accident, I was shocked to see the very close proximity of the steel support columns that he struck to the track he was running on. I could not help but think how that could have been avoided, and how too often we have similar tragedies in our sport. One of the athletes interviewed talked about the "inherent danger" of racing sports and then kind of shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "c'est la vie" I think my safety conciousness has been raised to such a level by my participation as an event rider that I found that a bit shocking as well.

JER
Feb. 12, 2010, 08:35 PM
I was shocked at how low the wall was at that part of the track -- and no protection at all in front of those metal columns.

Also, the lugers are not well served by their lack of safety equipment. If you look at the photos of the fall, you'll see the luger's neck is totally exposed when his head goes forward. And there's no impact protection for the torso at all.

And how about that EMS, riderboy? Did you see the photo (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Georgian-Olympian-Nodar-Kumaritashvili/ss/events/olympics/021210olylugecrash#photoViewer=/100213/483/3312010bca754783a72829fe564889ed) of the medics working on the guy? (it's #2 in the slideshow) Holy lack of BSI, Batman. There's lots of blood and this medic doesn't have gloves on. And he's doing mouth-to-mask, after they c-spined him. How about a BVM and some O2?

(But if they're doing CPR on you, you're most likely not coming back. But still...)

I've worked in places where you'd be fired and have a hearing about your license if you did that on the clock.

(I volunteered to be a medic at these Olympics as I live in BC part-time. I eventually opted out of the process because they were unbelievably disorganized. Not the medical people, just the ubergroup that organized volunteers. No one knew anything, communication was impossible and they were unreliable about keeping appointments.)

Lori T
Feb. 12, 2010, 09:09 PM
I came here to post about the tragedy and see I was not the only one wanting to. I found it very interesting the official who spoke regarding the inexperienced Olympians and the very fast speed of the track. He said he wasn't concerned about the top 13 in the sport, but the ones in the middle and back of the pack. The man killed was only 21, yet he was on this track going 88 miles an hour. I immediately thought of the issues we have in eventing regarding experience and the "bigger and faster" courses. Guess eventing isn't the only sport facing this issue.

Gryhrs
Feb. 12, 2010, 09:31 PM
So tragic. I found it disturbing and misguided for the reporters to blame the accident on the athlete's inexperience while in the background stand the giant steel I-beams that line the track.

halla
Feb. 12, 2010, 11:00 PM
I found this discussion on another (non-horse) message board and thought it was interesting in relation to what I've read here about eventing safety, and the perception of accidents by the public:
http://www.metafilter.com/89164/Olympian-killed-in-luge-accident

ACMEeventing
Feb. 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
I was shocked at how low the wall was at that part of the track -- and no protection at all in front of those metal columns.

Also, the lugers are not well served by their lack of safety equipment. If you look at the photos of the fall, you'll see the luger's neck is totally exposed when his head goes forward. And there's no impact protection for the torso at all.

And how about that EMS, riderboy? Did you see the photo (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Georgian-Olympian-Nodar-Kumaritashvili/ss/events/olympics/021210olylugecrash#photoViewer=/100213/483/3312010bca754783a72829fe564889ed) of the medics working on the guy? (it's #2 in the slideshow) Holy lack of BSI, Batman. There's lots of blood and this medic doesn't have gloves on. And he's doing mouth-to-mask, after they c-spined him. How about a BVM and some O2?

(But if they're doing CPR on you, you're most likely not coming back. But still...)

I've worked in places where you'd be fired and have a hearing about your license if you did that on the clock.

(I volunteered to be a medic at these Olympics as I live in BC part-time. I eventually opted out of the process because they were unbelievably disorganized. Not the medical people, just the ubergroup that organized volunteers. No one knew anything, communication was impossible and they were unreliable about keeping appointments.)

Having been in situations similar, I don't fault the first responders. Yes, they should have had basic PPE on, but they responded with such speed and instict that they did not take the time to don protective wear.

How tragic that this young man lost his life. It just goes to show that ANY sport has risks and if you stick with it long enough, the odds are you may become a statistic. My heart is out to his family.

JER
Feb. 13, 2010, 12:51 AM
Having been in situations similar, I don't fault the first responders. Yes, they should have had basic PPE on, but they responded with such speed and instict that they did not take the time to don protective wear.

If you are a trained, licensed EMT or paramedic, your 'speed and instinct' on the job means BSI comes before everything else. 'Speed and instinct' is knowing your protocols and executing them.

The medic doing compressions has gloves on. Given that this is the Olympics, it is very unlikely that the guy doing mouth-to-mask is a bystander who just happened upon the scene.

If you have time to get your backboard and c-spine gear out, you have time to put on gloves.

It's what riderboy said -- if you're conscious of safety, this scene at the sliding centre looks like a nightmare in a number of ways.

riderboy
Feb. 13, 2010, 07:27 AM
-- if you're conscious of safety, this scene at the sliding centre looks like a nightmare in a number of ways.[/QUOTE]

It sure did to me as well.

ACMEeventing
Feb. 13, 2010, 10:35 AM
[QUOTE=JER;4681769]

The medic doing compressions has gloves on. Given that this is the Olympics, it is very unlikely that the guy doing mouth-to-mask is a bystander who just happened upon the scene.

If you have time to get your backboard and c-spine gear out, you have time to put on gloves.



Oh, just looked at the whole line-up. You're absolutely right, they most certainly did disregard PPE.

Moderator 1
Feb. 13, 2010, 11:10 AM
We'll be opening an Off Topic forum tomorrow, where you'll be welcome to discuss all aspects of this accident, the Olympics overall, etc., but please keep the thread related to safety topics in eventing if you'd like to comment on it here.

Thanks,
Mod 1

gully's pilot
Feb. 13, 2010, 12:24 PM
I was actually talking about this with my husband last night--how everyone knows that in eventing, the Olympic xc will not be as difficult as, say, Badminton--that all of the major complexes will have longer alternate routes flagged--because while we want the best to win, we want the entire field to survive. Killing some poor horse from a country that just barely managed to qualify a rider is not in our sport's best interests.

In the same light, I can't see how it is in the Olympic's best interests to have what seems to be considered as one of the most difficult tracks of all time. Luge--unlike something like figure skating--is a sport that an athletic person might take up solely in order to represent his or her nation at the games. You've got to protect the safety of all the competitors.

Whoever gets down the fastest, wins. You don't only get a medal if you also break the world record.

riderboy
Feb. 13, 2010, 12:53 PM
We'll be opening an Off Topic forum tomorrow, where you'll be welcome to discuss all aspects of this accident, the Olympics overall, etc., but please keep the thread related to safety topics in eventing if you'd like to comment on it here.

Thanks,
Mod 1

I appreciate that. Not to pick on you but you seem to be jumping on this pretty fast compared to other non-sport,non eventing threads from the recent past. There are valid comparisons about Olympic participants skill levels and safety issues, accident and safety analysis and how our raised level of conciousness as eventers makes us much more aware of how we can become even safer. Also, not thinking thru possible dangerous situations and circumstances can really come back and haunt you as it did here.

jenm
Feb. 13, 2010, 01:17 PM
I can see how this tragic accident can easily be compared to eventing. It was reported this young athlete came from a country that doesn't have the money or expertise to properly train for this sport as some of the other countries do. The countries with the money to build training facilities and pay good coaches will most likely turn out better competitors who will have better skills to compete in such a dangerous sport.

It's the same as eventers moving up levels when neither they nor their horse have had the proper training or coaching to run at that level. The better prepared horse/rider teams will have a greater chance at success over the teams that are pushed too far too soon or don't have the training advantage.

LAZ
Feb. 13, 2010, 03:36 PM
I think the parallel here is that you can not make an inherently high risk sport completely safe.

Race drivers die in car accidents
Skiers die in skiing accidents
Riders die in horse accidents
Luge runners die in luge accidents.
etc, etc.

I listened to a program on NPR yesterday about how they prepare these tracks with many safety features to try to keep the drivers on the track, but unfortunately sometimes the risk that is inherent in such a sport happens.

I'm sure this will result in a very thorough analysis is the safety failure, and hopefully a fail safe that will protect another person from the same safety failure.

But you are never going to make a high risk sport completely, totally safe. Nor would most participants want the sport "dumbed down" to that level as the challenge would be gone.

shawneeAcres
Feb. 13, 2010, 03:44 PM
Very true that there is significant risks associated with sports such as this, including eventing. One thing that struck me tho was, why aren't there retaining "nets" in place to keep people and the luge sleds from flying off the tracks, not only safety for the lugers but for the people that may be outside the course, kinda like the retaining nets at many NASCAR tracks. That would offer SOME measure of safety for all involved. But we all have to realize we take risks, period. Everytime we climb on a hroses back, onto a sled in luge, or into a racecar, there are risks associated that ALL of us realize.

riderboy
Feb. 13, 2010, 04:08 PM
Very true that there is significant risks associated with sports such as this, including eventing. One thing that struck me tho was, why aren't there retaining "nets" in place to keep people and the luge sleds from flying off the tracks, not only safety for the lugers but for the people that may be outside the course, kinda like the retaining nets at many NASCAR tracks. That would offer SOME measure of safety for all involved. But we all have to realize we take risks, period. Everytime we climb on a hroses back, onto a sled in luge, or into a racecar, there are risks associated that ALL of us realize.

I thought exactly the same thing about the nets-cheap and effective. Today after an investigation they're saying "it's not the track" How can it go from one of the most dangerous luge tracks out there to suddenly not being part of the problem. What concerns me, and this is where I see parallels in eventing, is that they've sort of brushed off any responsibility for track (course) design, lack of readily available safety netting (jump design placement and construction) and blamed the "inexperienced" athlete (fill in the blank). Man up here guys. I think it was that kind of attitude that got non-eventers so angry at the eventing hierarchy when bad accidents were happening and horses and people killed and injured. It doesn't fly. Take responsibility for your part and fix what you can as fast as you can.

GotSpots
Feb. 13, 2010, 04:36 PM
I thought exactly the same thing about the nets-cheap and effective. Today after an investigation they're saying "it's not the track" How can it go from one of the most dangerous luge tracks out there to suddenly not being part of the problem. The same way three horses can fall at the same jump in the same way but investigation determines there was "no problem with the jump design or construction."

To quote Flutie, it's when the old boy network kicks in.

advmom
Feb. 13, 2010, 04:40 PM
From what we are seeing today it looks as though a wall has been erected at the site...very sad and tragic indeed
The media outlets that have posted pictures around the world of that poor young man at the end of his life ought to be ashamed! No matter the circumstance behind death EVERYONE deserves respect...imagine his Mother!

LAZ
Feb. 13, 2010, 05:03 PM
From what we are seeing today it looks as though a wall has been erected at the site...very sad and tragic indeed
The media outlets that have posted pictures around the world of that poor young man at the end of his life ought to be ashamed! No matter the circumstance behind death EVERYONE deserves respect...imagine his Mother!

I think it the news media has crossed the line on this one. It is ghoulish to show, in detail, the moment of death. I haven't seen any of the video or the photos--I've been avoiding them successfully thus far. But I believe the people and programs that have published/run the footage should be ashamed of themselves.

riderboy
Feb. 13, 2010, 05:38 PM
The same way three horses can fall at the same jump in the same way but investigation determines there was "no problem with the jump design or construction."

To quote Flutie, it's when the old boy network kicks in.
Yes

I think it the news media has crossed the line on this one. It is ghoulish to show, in detail, the moment of death. I haven't seen any of the video or the photos--I've been avoiding them successfully thus far. But I believe the people and programs that have published/run the footage should be ashamed of themselves.

Absolutely

FalseImpression
Feb. 13, 2010, 05:47 PM
Unfortunately, no matter the sport, no amount of protective gear and/or padding on the structures will protect you when you go from 140 km/h to 0 km/h in less than a second.

I still think you have to be nuts to participate in such sports, but I am sure the athletes know the risks and still choose to participate. I am very sorry for this Georgian athlete and his family.

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 13, 2010, 06:07 PM
They are expecting to see speeds up to 155km/h on the track. It is fast.

Drivers have a brake on their luge. They can slow down. He was going too fast for his experience level. We see this all the time in eventing. That rider was going too fast for the experience, for the track, etc... and accidents, sometimes fatalities occur.

Both sports are incredibly dangerous sports. Adding a net would not have stopped his accident. When you are going 150km/h a mesh net wouldn't stop him from hitting the beam. His force probably would have just moved it, or if it was tight enough, it probably would have injured him also.

It's a problem when inexperienced competitors are on the same track as the worlds best. This happens ALL the time in eventing. Think of all the rookies at Rolex competing against Mark Todd and Bruce Davidson. But you should ride at what your experience allows you to do.

It is a tragedy. It is so sad and so horrible what happened to this young man. The media has crossed the boundary in publishing this footage. It should not be allowed.

I hope the rest of the games happen with no further heartbrake, but there are HUNDREDS of athletes competing in a raft of dangerous sports. Anything can happen.

columbus
Feb. 13, 2010, 06:21 PM
It may be that too much mathematics went into course design. I know when analyzing car accidents with barriers they have to know why a barrier didn't stop a car from going over a high concrete barrier and into oncoming traffic. Mathematically it shouldn't be possible but obviously it happened. In this case likely the course was designed so that someone couldn't go over the wall while luging. But like eventing there is the decisions of the competitor to consider. As the luger crashed he tried to save himself by grabbing what was there...the top of the wall. That changed his trajectory and put him over the wall. If he would have let the design of the course save him he likely would have been fine. Course design is so many elements, it can't be perfect. Nothing can be perfect. We can try to consider all possible reactions but the best we can really do is make sure something doesn't happen again. PatO

shawneeAcres
Feb. 13, 2010, 06:22 PM
I think it the news media has crossed the line on this one. It is ghoulish to show, in detail, the moment of death. I haven't seen any of the video or the photos--I've been avoiding them successfully thus far. But I believe the people and programs that have published/run the footage should be ashamed of themselves.

ABSOLUTELY! I was watching the evening news last night, I think it was CBS and didn't know about it, next thing you knwo they are SHOWING THE ACCIDENT on national TV and not only once but THREE TIMES and in slow motoin! How terrible for the family! I am sorry but that is WAY beyond "freedom of speech"!!

JER
Feb. 13, 2010, 06:28 PM
Unfortunately, no matter the sport, no amount of protective gear and/or padding on the structures will protect you when you go from 140 km/h to 0 km/h in less than a second.

Then the track shouldn't allow such speeds.

I read somewhere that the fastest speed recorded on the luge track in Torino was 86 mph. Yesterday, people were in the 95/96 range.

10 mph is a significant difference. KE = 1/2 mass x velocity squared, right?

It's not as if there'll be too many double clears in luge if the track is too easy. It's a freaking race. The spectators can't tell if they're going 30 or 40 or 70 mph.

And it does matter what kind of material you land on. A steel column is about the worst you could hope for. This month, Popular Mechanics has a very entertaining article called How to Fall 35,000 Feet -- And Survive (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4344036.html?page=1).

The irony is people might actually pay attention to luge for once.

As for photos and video, there's a lot that can be learned from watching accidents. This was a very public event, with teams funded by government money and an event bailed out by taxpayer money. If the truth of the Olympics (or any particular sport) is ugly, than so be it.

(In my own family, we've had to deal with a great loss in a very public incident. It doesn't get better over time but none of us would advocate any sort of censorship. You can always look away.)

LAZ
Feb. 13, 2010, 07:07 PM
As for photos and video, there's a lot that can be learned from watching accidents. This was a very public event, with teams funded by government money and an event bailed out by taxpayer money. If the truth of the Olympics (or any particular sport) is ugly, than so be it.

(In my own family, we've had to deal with a great loss in a very public incident. It doesn't get better over time but none of us would advocate any sort of censorship. You can always look away.)

JER, I agree with you that there is much to be learned from videos of such things. However, I do not think they should be broadcast on the evening news, repeatedly and in slow motion. Let them be posted up on the Olympics site or You-Tube, or whatever association the Luge is run under.

But I think it is highly inappropriate to show the crash and death on national TV and to publish pictures of a dead man crashing into a post. To me it is ghoulish and takes no account of the family and friends that have to deal with their grief, knowing the moment of death is being replayed over, and over, for entertainment.

P.S. I am sorry for your loss. I think that would be terribly difficult.

gully's pilot
Feb. 13, 2010, 09:23 PM
When I was in Florida last month, I noticed a couple of BNRs wearing a type of safety vest I'd never seen before. I asked about it, and then saw a demo video at a tent the company had set up on the grounds.

Basically, they're inflatable vests (right now worn over the regular safety vest) with tethers to the saddle--if you leave the saddle, the vest inflates, up around your neck (but not an airbag-type blast, just the actual vest inflating) and around your ribcage and spine.

The technology is very well known, because these things are standard in motorcycle racing. The video I saw included a really horrific rotational fall at last year's European Championships--vest inflated as the horse was going over--horse rolled over the rider--rider got up, shaking his head in amazement, totally unhurt.

Anyway, wouldn't something similar work for luge? Tethered to the sled?


The riding vests cost $700; I'm thinking seriously of getting one. It's a lot of ching, but cheaper by far than a trip to the ER.

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 13, 2010, 09:33 PM
When I was in Florida last month, I noticed a couple of BNRs wearing a type of safety vest I'd never seen before. I asked about it, and then saw a demo video at a tent the company had set up on the grounds.

Basically, they're inflatable vests (right now worn over the regular safety vest) with tethers to the saddle--if you leave the saddle, the vest inflates, up around your neck (but not an airbag-type blast, just the actual vest inflating) and around your ribcage and spine.

The technology is very well known, because these things are standard in motorcycle racing. The video I saw included a really horrific rotational fall at last year's European Championships--vest inflated as the horse was going over--horse rolled over the rider--rider got up, shaking his head in amazement, totally unhurt.

Anyway, wouldn't something similar work for luge? Tethered to the sled?


The riding vests cost $700; I'm thinking seriously of getting one. It's a lot of ching, but cheaper by far than a trip to the ER.

I thought the same thing earlier today when I was thinking about it... but they have to be very loose around your body otherwise when they inflate they would be way too tight. This would make the luger not only less aerodynamic, but also would probably make them slide around on the luge.

JER
Feb. 13, 2010, 09:46 PM
When I was in Florida last month, I noticed a couple of BNRs wearing a type of safety vest I'd never seen before. I asked about it, and then saw a demo video at a tent the company had set up on the grounds.

Basically, they're inflatable vests (right now worn over the regular safety vest) with tethers to the saddle--if you leave the saddle, the vest inflates, up around your neck (but not an airbag-type blast, just the actual vest inflating) and around your ribcage and spine.

The technology is very well known, because these things are standard in motorcycle racing. The video I saw included a really horrific rotational fall at last year's European Championships--vest inflated as the horse was going over--horse rolled over the rider--rider got up, shaking his head in amazement, totally unhurt.

The riding vests cost $700; I'm thinking seriously of getting one. It's a lot of ching, but cheaper by far than a trip to the ER.

If you want to buy an actual safety product, a WoofWear EXO will cost you half as much.

You are talking about the Point Two Air Jacket. It cannot protect you from massive crush injuries (which is what kills riders in rotational falls). And if you look at photos and videos of the product in use (including some of their own promotional photos) you'll see the vest inflating after the rider has hit the ground.

The Point Two has been discussed on here a number of times. I recommend doing a search. Also, do a search on the Horse & Hound BB because there's a great thread in which the lies and evasions of the company are laid out in detail.

The reason that BNRs have been seen wearing this item of apparel is because the company gives them to these riders. It's marketing without the research to back it up.

Don't be sucked in. :)

gully's pilot
Feb. 14, 2010, 07:49 AM
Absolutely the BNRs were given them as a promo tool--I'm sure of that. And I'd love to hear from people that use them or use the EXO vest. The one video, though, clearly did show the vest inflating before the fall--and this was at an actual event, not a simulation.

It's probably true that they wouldn't work for luge; I forgot about the aerodynamics. Though the motorcycle racing suits were substantially different from the eventing vest in the way they were designed; it might be possible.

It's very hard in any accident to say what protective gear would be enough (or would have been enough) to make a difference. The physics of it is so complicated. I'm pretty sure nothing could have saved the Georgian luger. But I know a rider who had a rotational fall 2 years ago--she broke ribs and was knocked unconscious. I could see that the inflatable vest might have been enough to save her ribs. In another case, it might be the difference between a truly crushing fall and just breaking ribs.

But please, if anyone uses either the inflatable vest or the EXO, chime in. I'd love to hear from you.

RAyers
Feb. 14, 2010, 10:31 AM
In a sense the physics is not that complicated. Whether the protection is rigid, e.g. EXO, or deformable, e.g. Point Two, there are significant trade-offs and potential risks for each.

Sadly, we have ignorant and uninformed professional riders and trainers touting the failings of one (incorrectly) and the amazing capacity of another (also incorrectly). I will say this, The Point Two bases its design and function off of motorcycling which has a completely different accident mechanism. There is a reason why motorcycle safety equipment is not effective in horse riding. The physics of the accident are different but not any more complex. Sadly, customers believe that since it must be protective in motorcycle accidents it HAS to work on a horse. The counter logic is if this is such an effective protective device, racing jockeys would be flocking to the product.

In the end, the luger was going as a such high rate of speed, there is no protective device or mechanism that would have saved him. This is something we do not need to concern ourselves with in the horses. While an air vest may have prevented large external injuries, when the luger hit the post, his internal organs kept going at 90mph.

I use an EXO. The specific design (simple) and the materials (Mg frame) and the fact it does NOT rely on an external trigger mechanism (e.g. it is in a fail-safe mode at all times) are why I chose it.

Reed

gold2012
Feb. 14, 2010, 11:12 AM
I think the parallel here is that you can not make an inherently high risk sport completely safe.

Race drivers die in car accidents
Skiers die in skiing accidents
Riders die in horse accidents
Luge runners die in luge accidents.
etc, etc.

I listened to a program on NPR yesterday about how they prepare these tracks with many safety features to try to keep the drivers on the track, but unfortunately sometimes the risk that is inherent in such a sport happens.

I'm sure this will result in a very thorough analysis is the safety failure, and hopefully a fail safe that will protect another person from the same safety failure.

But you are never going to make a high risk sport completely, totally safe. Nor would most participants want the sport "dumbed down" to that level as the challenge would be gone.

I am sorry, but if you have a track, that officials, and people at the top of the sport say is dangerous, you have I beams exposed on curves that the best are saying are giong to be extremely fast, and you have first responders who don't have O2 available at....., I mean really? Am a paramedic, and I don't really understand the whole not having O2 available. Even at some events, I see response teams that have some basic stuff, but no 02.

This doesn't speak to me of a sport that is trying to be safe....I agree with eariler posts. There was no Basular protection, they have no protection of vital organs, banks could easily be built that wll prevent them flying off...heck, put up safety netting if nothing else....( just saw someone else suggested and reason not to, still think it is better than nothing, but am not sure plexiglass would work either....seems like an immoveable object.

I understand the "thrill" of the game....but it isn't a thrill to watch your child die on video as those parents are doing. It isn't a thrill to see that curtain come up around your child at an event....

Anyone who feels that the danger should "just be understood" has been incredibly lucky.

I think there are ways to make this safer, both Luge, and Eventing....unfortunately, expense, people's ideals, and politics keep it from happening. And as for xc objects being able to collape, or break away, no, they won't protect everyone....there will still be3 accidents. But it will also save lives....I hear the argument all the time, that it won't be the same sport, it won't be natural. I get so tired of that argument....is that really, truley, more important to those of you that feel that way, than someone's life?

JER
Feb. 14, 2010, 11:33 AM
The counter logic is if this is such an effective protective device, racing jockeys would be flocking to the product.

The Point Two was developed for racing in the UK but the racing authorities wouldn't allow it to be used by jockeys. IIRC, one of the main issues was the lanyard that attaches the saddle/cartridge and the rider.

advmom
Feb. 14, 2010, 11:54 AM
Can someone please post a link to some research comparing the EXO and the Point two vest and where is it that the EXO is avail at half the price of the Point Two...the link I found listed it at the same price range

RAyers
Feb. 14, 2010, 11:56 AM
The Point Two was developed for racing in the UK but the racing authorities wouldn't allow it to be used by jockeys. IIRC, one of the main issues was the lanyard that attaches the saddle/cartridge and the rider.

I did not realize that. But it again points out that when safety equipment relies on a MECHANICAL trigger and an external component, there comes too much risk in a failure. It makes the system fail-dangerous, not fail-safe.

I bought my EXO for $421 US.

Reed

JER
Feb. 14, 2010, 12:28 PM
Can someone please post a link to some research comparing the EXO and the Point two vest and where is it that the EXO is avail at half the price of the Point Two...the link I found listed it at the same price range

You could search this forum and find the answers you're looking for. :) These products have been the subject of much discussion over the years.

Point Two USA (http://www.pointtwousa.com/) website
EXO BodyCage (http://www.bodycage.co.uk/news_archive.html) website
WoofWear (http://www.woofwear.com/) website (for EXO Body Protector)

Very provocative thread at Horse & Hound BB about PointTwo (http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4887813/page/5/fpart/1/vc/1)

EXO at Buttons Saddlery, UK (http://www.buttonssaddlery.com/detail.asp?id=1526)

I also have an EXO. I'm an EMT.

JER
Feb. 14, 2010, 12:30 PM
I did not realize that. But it again points out that when safety equipment relies on a MECHANICAL trigger and an external component, there comes too much risk in a failure. It makes the system fail-dangerous, not fail-safe.

The PointTwo doesn't deploy at all if you're not sufficiently separated from your horse.

Which means it might not do anything at all in a rotational fall.

JER
Feb. 14, 2010, 12:38 PM
Back to the luge tragedy for a moment...

Jere Longman of the New York Times has a scathing piece on the luge governing body's response (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/sports/olympics/14longman.html?hp):


Olympic officials treated the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luge athlete, less as a tragedy than as an inconvenience.

The sport’s international governing body released a callous statement late Friday night, about 10 hours after Kumaritashvili died, publicly blaming the 21-year-old for his own death. Athletes were attaining speeds at the Whistler Sliding Center far exceeding what the track was designed for, but the track was not the problem. It was a user error, the statement implied.

....

A thorough investigation was supposed to have been conducted. Instead, the luge federation seemed more concerned about getting the track opened again for competition on Saturday than about taking a hard look at the conditions that might have contributed to Kumaritashvili’s death.

juanbadcat
Feb. 14, 2010, 12:57 PM
I don't think plexiglass would work. The track would melt when the sun starts beating down on it. It's really the speed element and the lugers' ability to control the sled.

HorsesinHaiti
Feb. 14, 2010, 03:42 PM
Back to the luge tragedy for a moment...

Jere Longman of the New York Times has a scathing piece on the luge governing body's response (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/sports/olympics/14longman.html?hp):

Quote:

Olympic officials treated the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luge athlete, less as a tragedy than as an inconvenience.

The sport’s international governing body released a callous statement late Friday night, about 10 hours after Kumaritashvili died, publicly blaming the 21-year-old for his own death. Athletes were attaining speeds at the Whistler Sliding Center far exceeding what the track was designed for, but the track was not the problem. It was a user error, the statement implied.

....

A thorough investigation was supposed to have been conducted. Instead, the luge federation seemed more concerned about getting the track opened again for competition on Saturday than about taking a hard look at the conditions that might have contributed to Kumaritashvili’s death.

Exactly. My question below is about PRESENTATION issues that many governing bodies seem to have, including Luge and Eventing. The apparent hang-ups about communicating with outsiders where these GBs shoot themselves in the foot when an accident happens. Why do federation heads of all kinds keep thinking they are better off to chant that They Aren’t to Blame rather than acknowledging the obvious issues and then stating how they have addressed them? Thereby demonstrating some lack of fault rather than just claiming lack of fault? Why NOT keep focus on what has been done for safety rather than the rush to avoid any possible appearance of blame, which just makes a federation look ‘even more guilty’?

Why does the luge federation feel they have to say ‘it’s the athlete’s mistake’, and not acknowledge that most people can see that safety includes keeping the athletes contained in the track? Why not just say instead, ‘Gee, we did all the computer modeling for this course with approved computer models to determine the wall height we needed, and all the latest tools said this wall was high enough to prevent all but an infinitesimal percentage of crashes from leaving the track? We did our due diligence but obviously the models didn’t anticipate THIS, so now we will raise the wall and re-evaluate for any containment issues we might have”? That wouldn’t put blame on anyone. Instead they bought themselves a firestorm by blaming the victim when the physical track obviously didn’t quite accomplish containment.

Or at Jersey Fresh 2009 and the DOC interview so many people rolled their eyes at. Beyond the ‘bad mistake’s happen’. Rather than a tone of ‘oh, well, it happens in other sports also’, take the tone of ‘we are doing lots to reduce this’. Mention instead that eventing is pursuing many ways to avoid mistakes becoming fatal. ‘Eventing isn’t perfect but by gosh we’re doing this, this, and this - including frangible pins and the speed study and efforts to design more safety into courses, etc, etc.’ (yes, many people don’t think much of those efforts, but he can at least mention they do exist, even if he doesn’t want to get pulled into a debate on Dangerous Riding rules at that moment in time.)
What is so dangerous about saying ‘we’ve done all these things to improve our safety and eliminate accidents but we haven’t nailed it all down yet’, to the point that no one wants to mention how much they have done/are doing, even in self-defense? The world already knows that problems will come up in inherently dangerous sports, so why not focus on positive efforts instead of just blame shifting, which lead the press and fan base to jump on you all the harder?

Like I mentioned above, my particular question is really about the psychology of leadership with training and intelligence choosing such a seemingly unintelligent approach. Is it siege mentality? Do I just not get how internal politics are working? WHAT is up with this?

Carol Ames
Feb. 14, 2010, 06:42 PM
I suggest that Gumbel and Frank Deford do a program on the fatalities :eek:in winter sports as they did about eventing.:yes:

Carol Ames
Feb. 14, 2010, 06:49 PM
“But one thing I know for sure, that no sports mistake is supposed to lead to a death. No sports mistake is supposed to be fatal.” Saakashvili said he was glad offici

Carol Ames
Feb. 14, 2010, 08:57 PM
Which network did the Gumbel smear?

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Feb. 14, 2010, 09:02 PM
I could not believe they kept playing the footage over and over again. It was awful :no:

deltawave
Feb. 14, 2010, 10:13 PM
I'm always left wondering, after something like this, whether the Olympics is the right formula for modern sports. Eventing has its share of scary moments even without riders from a country that does NOT have an eventing "background" barely qualifying on saintly packers and flopping around the courses. :no:

riderboy
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:02 AM
I'm always left wondering, after something like this, whether the Olympics is the right formula for modern sports. Eventing has its share of scary moments even without riders from a country that does NOT have an eventing "background" barely qualifying on saintly packers and flopping around the courses. :no:

If there were a reason to take eventing out of the Olympics that would be it. As far as the discussion on rigid vs inflatable body protectors, if the inflatable (Two Point) people can promote their product by having BNR ride with them gratis, why in heaven's name can't the rigid (Woof exo) people slap some of their gear on some BNR. What Woof currently has won't fit me by a mile so I really have no option on rigid protection. And I'm damn sure not smart enough to alter it to fit like Reed. Unless he's willing to bring his tailor's welding torch to southern Indiana! (which is snowbound this a.m.)

JAM
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:03 AM
Sounds eerily and disturbingly familiar (and I'm not thinking about Toyota blaming its customers).



Back to the luge tragedy for a moment...

Jere Longman of the New York Times has a scathing piece on the luge governing body's response (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/sports/olympics/14longman.html?hp):


Quote:
Olympic officials treated the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luge athlete, less as a tragedy than as an inconvenience.

The sport’s international governing body released a callous statement late Friday night, about 10 hours after Kumaritashvili died, publicly blaming the 21-year-old for his own death. Athletes were attaining speeds at the Whistler Sliding Center far exceeding what the track was designed for, but the track was not the problem. It was a user error, the statement implied.

....

A thorough investigation was supposed to have been conducted. Instead, the luge federation seemed more concerned about getting the track opened again for competition on Saturday than about taking a hard look at the conditions that might have contributed to Kumaritashvili’s death.

subk
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:04 AM
Interesting segment on this morning's TODAY Show (NBC) with an interview with a US Luge bigshot. He talked about the speed and that the speeds were faster than any track ever and that even before the accident there was official discussion that the sport needs to head toward more technical but slower tracks. He said there are harder tracks that are highly technical but only reach 75mph compared to Vancouver hitting speeds over 95 mph.

I thought the discussion comparing technicality to speed in terms of safety interesting in relation to the discussions we're having on the same thing in XC. I also think it makes sense that the luge people wanted to focus on the sexier and easier to understand speed element instead of the harder to understand technical for an internationally exposed competition. Sounds like some of the non traditional fence design seen at the international events to me. Sex it up for the uninformed.

The talking head did ask why, if the federation thought it was the riders fault and not the tracks, did they make a bunch of changes to the low wall and wrapping the exposed I-beams. The answer seem to be the track was safe, but now it's safer. which is interesting to me. It seems if people are going to go 90 mph you make the track as safe as you can in the first place.

I suspect there may be some serious feces left to hit the proverbial fan...

flutie1
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:01 AM
I'm really torn on this whole subject. On one hand, you have the "it's all the human error" school of thought. On another, "it's the track's fault" argument. A third segment is pondering the "how fast is too fast" question.

I keep harking back to the black year we had with too many rider critical/fatal injuries. I feel that all sides of the issue raised in the sport of luge are painfully applicable to questions raised about our sport. No single cause is responsible, IMHO, but all three must bear blame in percentage that varies with each incident. It's naive to opine that one fix will cure it all. Yes, there was measurable rider error (and in our sport, add the probability of horse error too): yes, courses and single fences added to the blame game: and yes, the philosophical question is valid "Are we asking too much of our horses who can only jump so high and gallop and think so fast?"

We're human, We all make mistakes - athletes, course designers, officials who evaluate safety. We can only learn from these mistakes and keep soldiering on.

Carol Ames
Feb. 15, 2010, 12:07 PM
Doesn't downhill skiing use safety netsand hay bales:lol: and yet, as we saw last year, if the helmet comes off; it does No good:no:, memories of the first WM at the KHP:sadsmile:; ever wonder where the first chin strap rule came from? Denny was pres. then;) they have no protection of vital organs, banks could easily be built that wll prevent them flying off...heck, put up safety netting if nothing else..

Carol Ames
Feb. 15, 2010, 12:08 PM
Doesn't downhill skiing use safety nets and hay bales:lol: and yet, as we saw last year, if the helmet comes off; it does No good:no:, memories of the first WM at the KHP:sadsmile:; ever wonder where the first chin strap rule came from? Denny was pres. then;) they have no protection of vital organs, banks could easily be built that wll prevent them flying off...heck, put up safety netting if nothing else..

Carol Ames
Feb. 15, 2010, 12:14 PM
Let's have a summit about this:yes:; the racing industry learned:cool:; why can't we?; do we need publicists for the sport? Exactly. My question below is about PRESENTATION issues that many governing bodies seem to have, including Luge and Eventing. The apparent hang-ups about communicating with outsiders where these GBs shoot themselves in the foot when an accident happens. Why do federation heads of all kinds keep thinking they are better off to chant that

JER
Feb. 15, 2010, 12:17 PM
As far as the discussion on rigid vs inflatable body protectors, if the inflatable (Two Point) people can promote their product by having BNR ride with them gratis, why in heaven's name can't the rigid (Woof exo) people slap some of their gear on some BNR.

In a word: weight.

The Woof folks tried and tried to get a BNR to wear the EXO but no one would bite because it weighs 8 lbs. One semi-BNR, Kitty Boggis, wore the EXO on her younger/greener horses but not on her top mounts.

(I discussed this at length with a Woof rep.)

BNRs don't seem to be good at math. If you wear the PointTwo, you have to wear it over your conventional vest. I put the numbers up here before and IIRC, you end up at almost the same total weight as by wearing the EXO.

I can wear the EXO quite comfortably and I'm willing to bet the 8 lbs of EXO is a greater percentage of my weight (110 lbs) than it is of almost any rider out there. But then I also do other sports where the equipment is heavy and you don't get all crybaby about it.

riderboy
Feb. 15, 2010, 01:09 PM
Thanks JER. My TB is pretty laid back but can really buck when he gets a lttle "fired up" at say, XC schoolings. I think the Two Point over my vest would be the next best thing to a Woof, which is essentially unavailable to me size wise.

LAZ
Feb. 15, 2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks JER. My TB is pretty laid back but can really buck when he gets a lttle "fired up" at say, XC schoolings. I think the Two Point over my vest would be the next best thing to a Woof, which is essentially unavailable to me size wise.

These things go off with a heck of a bang. My concern would be two fold, one--if you were really out of whack but not completely disuntied with your horse and it went off, you would be...:D
and two--if you ride the horse down, as in a rotational fall, it would not function in the fashion it is intended.

riderboy
Feb. 15, 2010, 03:02 PM
These things go off with a heck of a bang. My concern would be two fold, one--if you were really out of whack but not completely disuntied with your horse and it went off, you would be...:D
and two--if you ride the horse down, as in a rotational fall, it would not function in the fashion it is intended.

It takes a lot to trigger the vest, like a third of your body weight. It does disconnect you from the horse if you hit the ground. It also has a fairly long attachment to the saddle. I don't think there are any reports of just discombobulated triggers with the rider still mounted. Some HAVE gone off when the riders forget to disconnect when they dismount at the end of XC-a tad embarrassing I would think! But the Woof Exo is simply not an option for me because of my size. Also, my most serious injury was a buck off, straight up and straight down, broken hip. The others have been "normal falls" so for my level (novice) that seems more a risk than rotational although trust me, I'm also very, very eager to never have one of those. And you're right a Woof is what you need there.

ACMEeventing
Feb. 15, 2010, 03:37 PM
Wasn't there also some concern with the EXO needing a key for removal? I recall a conversation (JER or RAyers, maybe?)about being able to get the vest off in a timely matter if the paramedics/bystanders didn't have a key.

gully's pilot
Feb. 15, 2010, 06:49 PM
What size is it that EXOs don't fit? I'm short with a very short shoulder-to-hip measurement, but not thin.

JER
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:00 PM
Wasn't there also some concern with the EXO needing a key for removal? I recall a conversation (JER or RAyers, maybe?)about being able to get the vest off in a timely matter if the paramedics/bystanders didn't have a key.

The allen key is included and its location/instructions are well marked. Not a worry.


What size is it that EXOs don't fit? I'm short with a very short shoulder-to-hip measurement, but not thin.

EXOs fit the small/short sizes well. I have a short spine measurement and I didn't have a problem finding something that fit.

If you contact Buttons Saddlery or derby House Saddlery in the UK, you'll find that they're very helpful in fitting the EXO. They've sold a lot of EXOs to the US.

RedHorses
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:59 PM
It has yet to be mentioned that NEVER BERFORE in luge competition has an athlete left the track - occasionally sleds yes, but not the athletes (according to one of the sports experts interviewed). The athlete left the track on the final straightway coming to the finish line and every luge event I've seen (which is limited to the various Olympics I admit freely) have a similar exposed structure with very low walls on that final bit of track. The start was moved down the course for the actual races - this meant a significant reduction in the maximum obtainable speed over the course. Which is what the experts were saying the real issue was is it not? Excessive speed? Was this fact ignored by the American media?


This would appear to be the same as the very first time someone was killed on an XC course. Anyone know when that was? Or if anything was done at that time? Or if it was considered to be anything other than a freak accident because no one had ever been killed in XC competition? I think the first death XC would probably have been less sensational in part because it wouldn't have been the first time someone died jumping a horse over a fixed natural-type obstacle. People were dying in the hunt field before the sport of eventing was conceived.

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:19 AM
Would that have been when the coffin got its' name?:eek::sadsmile::o
This would appear to be the same as the very first time someone was killed on an XC course. Anyone know when that was?

RAyers
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:32 AM
It has yet to be mentioned that NEVER BERFORE in luge competition has an athlete left the track - occasionally sleds yes, but not the athletes (according to one of the sports experts interviewed). The athlete left the track on the final straightway coming to the finish line and every luge event I've seen (which is limited to the various Olympics I admit freely) have a similar exposed structure with very low walls on that final bit of track. The start was moved down the course for the actual races - this meant a significant reduction in the maximum obtainable speed over the course. Which is what the experts were saying the real issue was is it not? Excessive speed? Was this fact ignored by the American media?


This would appear to be the same as the very first time someone was killed on an XC course. Anyone know when that was? Or if anything was done at that time? Or if it was considered to be anything other than a freak accident because no one had ever been killed in XC competition? I think the first death XC would probably have been less sensational in part because it wouldn't have been the first time someone died jumping a horse over a fixed natural-type obstacle. People were dying in the hunt field before the sport of eventing was conceived.


Remember your history, since eventing comes from the military test of horses, the first person killed was probably several hundred years ago.

You do bring up a good point in that - as been discussed here before - death now is readily available to the general public. Eventing deaths, even 20 years ago were somewhat removed from the public (and even the eventers in other regions) due to the lack of media outlets. Now everything is ready for instant consumption and analysis is being conducted before the facts are understood.

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:53 PM
remember Dw,

a year or two ago; two fatalities :eek:were former Olympians:(
left wondering, after something like this, whether the Olympics is the right formula for modern sports. Eventing has its share of scary moments even without riders from a country that does NOT have an eventing "background" barely qualifying on saintly packers and flopping around the courses. :no:
---End Quote---

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 02:26 PM
WOW 1 THAT IS EERILY FAMILIAR :winkgrin:nteresting segment on this morning's TODAY Show (NBC) with an interview with a US Luge bigshot. He talked about the speed and that the speeds were faster than any track ever and that even before the accident there was official discussion that the sport needs to head toward more technical but slower tracks. He said there are harder tracks that are highly technical but only reach 75mph compared to Vancouver hitting speeds over 95 mph.

Dawnd
Feb. 16, 2010, 03:03 PM
Parallels with Eventing...

Some fences/courses have inherent flaws that can cause problems.
Some riders/racers make mistakes.
Some riders/racers are inexperienced.
Officials may make poor statements.
When speed is involved, serious accidents may happen.

The solution is to fix the fences/courses; train the inexperienced; shoot the officials and slow down the pace.

Though I wish the accident never happened, I'm really, really glad it didn't involve an equestrian event.

riderboy
Feb. 18, 2010, 08:27 AM
Holy cr*p, did anyone see the women's downhill? Lindsey Vonn won gold (deservedly) but there were three extremely scary crashes. The course looked way too icy and fast and dangerous. I think it was a miracle no one was seriously injured. It made eventing look safe by comparison.

JSwan
Feb. 18, 2010, 08:50 AM
but there were three extremely scary crashes. The course looked way too icy and fast and dangerous. I think it was a miracle no one was seriously injured. It made eventing look safe by comparison.

I watched that too - and commented to Mr. JSwan that some of those athletes took worse spills than I've seen in any horse sport. And walked away unharmed or just with bruises.

One athlete went airborne and slammed down pretty hard.

I think they said the athletes were doing over 70mph on that course.

I was impressed by their incredible fitness and athleticism.

Maybe it's because they slide a lot when they fall - but it seemed that their horrible spills just don't result in the same injuries as horse sports - even though they are high speed falls on hard ground, involve cartwheeling, getting hung up in equipment/flags.....

Incredible sport - that's for sure.

RAyers
Feb. 18, 2010, 09:08 AM
The trajectory is much flatter. While Plessier (?) may have flown 190 feet in the air she was probably never more than 10 feet off the ground. In the arial events some skiers are almost 5 stories up, however the landing is sloped such that the forces imparted are almost like landing an airplane on a runway. There is an extended time for landing (again, a lower trajectory) reducing the overall force on the body. The is the difference in horse sport. Head height averages 13 feet above the ground so the trajectory is much more vertical as our "landing" is not sloped. Our bodies, and the horses' bodies, have a much reduced time of impact due to the the flat landings meaning that the forces are greater.

I bet road rash is a big injury from the downhill yesterday.

JSwan
Feb. 18, 2010, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the explanation, Reed. Makes sense, of course.

I admit I watched the event in slack jawed amazement. A friend was airlifted out of the field this past fall - in what seemed to be a trivial fall off her field hunter.

And then to see a human walk away from a 70+ mph crash - well - again - I'm just gobsmacked.

I guess this segues into what Denny wrote about their fitness - and though it's not really fair to compare one sport to another - these athletes are incredibly fit.

As I sit here with my extra 20lbs of lard - I can't help but think my pathetic "conditioning" program for foxhunting is just that. Pathetic.

It sure got me thinking.

Carol Ames
Feb. 26, 2010, 10:19 PM
I heard it said last night:cool: by an American "there have been other deaths on other tracks but, this one was before/ in front of everyone:yes:

Carol Ames
Feb. 26, 2010, 10:21 PM
they continued "the track was excellent, very fast and very technical"