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IOC Chief: Vancouver Marked By Georgian’s Death

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attended the February 20 funeral of Nodar Kumaritashvili in the luger's hometown of Bakuriani

The president of the International Olympic Committee says the Vancouver Games will always be remembered for the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

In interviews marking the halfway point of the Games, IOC President Jacques Rogge called the death "tragic" and said there can be no happiness when an athlete dies.

But apart from the death and few other early problems, Rogge says the Vancouver Olympics have been going well.

The Games got off to a troubling start when, hours before the February 12 opening ceremony, Kumaritashvili died during a training run when he flew off his sled and crashed into a steel pole.

The luger's family and Georgian officials have blamed what they call inadequate safety measures at the Whistler Sliding Center as factors leading to the death.

Kumaritashvili's funeral took place February 20 in his hometown of Bakuriani, Georgia.

compiled from agency reports