An Accident that Never Should Have Happened
It Could Have Been Much Worse
Both Grayson and Ruben were extremely lucky.
Ruben could have lost a foot (it’s happened before) and Grayson could have been seriously injured if if he had hit Ruben’s sled.
When you watch the video at 1/2 speed, you can see how they both dodged a bullet.
Grayson pulls his legs up right before impact.
His sled hits Ruben’s sled (22 kilos / 50 lbs) and it flies off of Ruben’s hand narrowly missing Grayson.
Nothing hits Ruben either.
The impulse from his sled flying off his hands sweeps Ruben around just as Grayson’s sled slides under him.
It was a miracle nothing worse happened.
If it had, they may not have survived because there was not an ambulance or any medical personnel at the track.
Incredibly, the announcer did not announce a “hold on track” after this accident.
The track was cleared for the next sled…
First Four Decade Winter Olympian
Ruben Gonzalez has been competing internationally since 1986.
He competed in the 1988 Calgary, 1992 Albertville, 2002 Salt Lake City, and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
He first slid at the Igls track in 1986.
The great Austrian luger Günther Lemmerer coached Ruben for 8 years.
Lemmerer was World Champion, three times overall World Cup Champion and 2 times Olympian.
Training to Make Olympic History
Ruben’s training for the 2026 Milan / Cortina Olympics where he hopes to become the Oldest Winter Olympian in history and the first to compete in 5 Winter Olympics in 5 different decades.
He’s sliding better and more consistently than ever.
His coach says it’s possible for him to do it.
Dislocated Elbow Changes Everything
He dearly needs as many luge runs as possible in order to have a chance to qualify for 2026 Milan / Cortina.
Ruben will miss much or all of the 2023-2024 season.
All because of the Igls track negligence.
Igls Track May be 2026 Olympic Track
Italy will not be building a luge track for the 2026 Milan / Cortina Winter Olympics.
The Igls track will most likely be the Olympic track because of it’s proximity to Milan.
There is nothing wrong with the Igls track. The athletes like it because of it’s location and because everyone has trained and competed there before.
The problem is the lack of safety protocols on the part of the track announcers.
They continue to clear the track before the previous athlete has cleared the track.
Athletes pay $40 US for every run. It seems like the track management is more interested in how many luge runs they can complete per hour (profits) than on the safety of the athletes.
It’s only a matter of time before someone else gets injured or killed.