There is no good way to die, especially when you’re only 21.

I’m like the rest of you: before yesterday, I’d never heard of Nodar Kumaritashvili. But something about his fatal crash in Vancouver hit me just so, at once blindsiding a place inside me where the beauty of life, the exhilaration of competition, the glory of human achievement, the searing pain of sudden death, and the dull ache of a lost lifetime of opportunity all improbably intersect.

There is no good way to die when you’re 21. But if you have to go at such a young age, I suppose the best way would be quickly, while doing the thing you love.

And later, to have the world bow its head for you for a few seconds. Finally, to have KD Lang offer up a heartbreaking rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in benediction…

Rest in Peace.


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