Debate Within Bobsled Over Olympic Track's Safety

WHISTLER, British Columbia -- The sledders all agree: the Olympic track in Vancouver is very fast. Where they differ is just how furious it is.

The death of a Georgian luger and more crashes since at Whistler have opened an emotional debate among sliders.

Negotiating the course's 16 icy bends excites many but makes others anxious. Some teams complain it is dangerous.

The pressure of Olympic competition only ups the ante. So, too, does the fact that some pilots have scarcely any experience on the track, the world's fastest.

The most outspoken pilot has been Shauna Rohbock, the 2006 silver medalist who called the Whistler Sliding Center "stupid fast."

But some say Whistler is welcome because it puts a premium on driver skills.

They also add that the course must be tough if the Olympics is to be the pinnacle of the sport.


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