By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor
Earlier in the week I paid a visit to the Whistler sliding center to chat with Taylor Seitz, the man in charge of manicuring the surface ice on the track. He explained the wear and tear that weather and repeated sled runs take on the track. He even pointed out to me a spot where a sled had crashed earlier in the day, and noted that some of the best in the sport had wiped out on this track.
It just so happened only days earlier I had gone down the sliding track in Park City, Utah with members of Steve Holcomb's 4-man bobsled team and so I started this week with a new appreciation of the danger of sliding sports. Pulling 5g's at 85 miles per hour is not for the faint of heart, and there is not a person in the sport who doesn't know how fine an edge they balance on between life and death.
Today, with the death of Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili, all of us have a deeper understanding of the risk. Today, practice resumed on the Whistler course, and despite assurances that the track itself is safe, there are some big changes in place at the facility and to the course itself as competition is about to start. On Nightly News tonight I'll tell you about those changes, and what the investigation now reveals about what caused Kumaritshvili's sled to slide out of control.