Dead luger family got $150,000 payout Furlong reveals in new book
Saturday, 05 February 2011
The details of the payment made by insurer Chartis are revealed by John Furlong, the chief executive of Vancouver 2010, in Patriot Hearts: Inside the Olympics That Changed a Country.
Kumaritashvili died after a training crash on the day of the Opening Ceremony.
The 21-year-old Georgian lost control of his sled during a practice run at the $110 million (£71 million) Whistler Sliding Center and was thrown from the track, colliding with a metal pillar and being killed instantly.
"The family would be receiving the equivalent of CAN$150,000 insurance money as a result of Nodar's death," said Furlong in the book written with Gary Mason.
"But who knew how long it was going to take for that to arrive?
"It was obvious the family could use money now."
To help ease the pressure Vancouver 2010 auctioned off an Olympic podium, receiving $25,000 (£16,000) which they converted into €19,000.
When Furlong travelled to Kumaritashvili's memorial service in Bakuriani, Georgia, he writes that he stuffed the money in his suit pocket and gave it to the dead luger's father David at the wake.
"He'd have the pain of his loss for the rest of his life, but the money would help make that life easier," Furlong wrote.
Furlong claimed he was "unable to move" when his deputy Dave Cobb informed him of the tragedy on February 12.
"We had confronted make-believe plane crashes, riots, major injuries, mustard gas - you name it and we had prepared for it," Furlong wrote.
"But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine the death of an athlete on opening day."
October 2010: Inexperience and speed of track behind luger's Olympic death
April 2010: "No single reason" for luger's death report concludes
March 2010: Furlong slips away early from Closing Ceremony to attend memorial for dead luger
March 2010: Dead luger's family to receive insurance payout from Vancouver 2010 policy
February 2010: Nodar Kumaritashvili buried in Georgiad