Olympic luger dies: Nodar Kumaritashvili hits a post in training run

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The Winter Olympics got off to a tragic start Friday (Feb. 12) when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died after losing control of his sled and hitting into an unpadded metal post while training at the Whistler Sliding Center outside Vancouver.

Kumaritashvili was only 21.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the death hours before the opening ceremony "clearly casts a shadow over these games."

Several videos of the crash posted on YouTube were quickly removed. We managed to find a piece of footage -- there's no sound, but you can still see the horrifying crash. And we should warn you: The video does shows the luger hitting the pole. It may be too upsetting for some people to watch.