After a frightening bobsled crash this morning, one of several on the controversial Whistler Sliding Centre track during training today, Swiss pilot Daniel Schmid is withdrawing from competition.
His departure not long after the withdrawal of teammate Beat Hefti leaves only world champion Ivo Rueegg among the Swiss in contention. And it does little to help soften the reputation of the Whistler track, where 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a crash a week ago today, as a foreboding place.
The Swiss team said Schmid, a relatively inexperienced driver, would not compete for safety reasons; yet there is word his misadventures on the track left him too badly shaken to continue in contention.
Though Schmid appeared to emerge from this morning’s crash, his second this week, relatively unscathed, brakeman Juerg Egger is now under observation in a Vancouver hospital.