Within 24 hours of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death on the Olympic luge track, two things had happened.
First, the International Olympic Committee started making changes to the track. Lugers had been complaining for months that the track was too fast, and there had been an inordinate number of accidents in training runs. Following Kumaritashvili's death, the IOC started reshaping the ice on the track at Curve 16, raising the retaining wall where the luger flew out of the track, padding exposed metal beams, and moving the starting point of the races lower on the run.
But this isn’t because the track wasn’t safe. This isn’t because the track killed a man.
According to the IOC, Kumaritashvili’s death was his own damn fault. Before the sun had set on his death-day, a statement was released explaining that the luger “did not compensate properly” for his final turn, and concluded that “there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track.”
Attorneys will tell you that when in a car accident, even one that's obviously your own fault, you should never get out of the car and say “I'm sorry.” Never apologize. Never admit liability. Doctors are taught the same thing in hospitals—that any apology or expression of regret might be seen as an “admission against interest” and open the hospital up to legal liability. (This is mostly bullshit, btw—numerous studies have shown that patients are far less likely to sue when provided with a full explanation and apology.)
IOC, you're a dick. It may have been Kumaritashvili’s fault. It may have been an unsafe track. I’m not saying you have to leap onto the track the moment after the world’s 44th best luger died and shout “Hey, that was my fault!”
But don’t jump on to the track immediately after the accident and shout, “Whoa, that wasn’t my fault!”