By Duncan Mackay in Whistler
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

March 16 - The family of Nodar Kumaritashvili (pictured), the Georgian luger killed on the eve of the Olympics here last month, are to receive compensation from an insurance policy taken out by the organisers of Vancouver 2010, it has been announced.

The 21-year-old died hours before the Opening Ceremony on February 12 after his sled hurtled off the luge track at Whistler and slammed into a steel pillar.

Vancouver 2010 spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade said in a statement that they had informed Kumaritashvili's family in Borjomi, Georgia, that they would receive money through a private health insurance programme set up for the Olympic family.

Smith-Valade refused to disclose the financial details of the payout but called it "an appropriate and respectful sum".

She said: "We've been in contact with Nodar Kumaritashvili's family to advise of the death benefit that was part of our Olympic Family coverage and as soon as practically possible our insurer will be in touch with them to execute the policy, the amount of which I am not able to provide out of respect for the family's privacy.

"What I can tell you, however, is that when the policy was confirmed before the Games, together with our insurer we determined an appropriate and respectful sum."

Vancouver 2010 is also expected to make a donation to the fund set-up by the International Luge Federation (FIL) to honour Kumaritashvili.

Smith-Valade said: "We want to do so in a thoughtful and appropriate way so we'll complete our work of staging the Paralympics and then finalise our intentions on this."

The luger's death is currently being investigated by Canadian police, the British Columbia coroner's office and the FIL.

The FIL said recently Kumaritashvili's death was a financial as well as a personal disaster for his parents, whose house had burned down and who were relying on their only son to help them rebuild it.

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 Nodar Kumaritashvili buried in Georgia
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February 2010: Luge course designer shocked at Kumaritashvili death
February 2010: Luge competition to go ahead as planned despite death