Forbes’ Unfortunate Luge Slip

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Whenever there is a big event like the Olympics, you always see business reporters stretching to try to find an angle. Some of it makes for good journalism. The Wall Street Journal’s story on Wednesday on how the luge accident was driven by a desire to maximize profits for the track and its owners is an excellent piece of journalism. Forbes wrote its own luge article a few weeks ago. In light of recent events and the angle they took, their choice of Olympic events to highlight was not so great. The unfortunate title of their article: An Olympic Sport You Can Do.

Now perhaps a few weeks ago an article advising people to go out and try luge might have seemed perfectly reasonable and harmless. Now it seems silly and perhaps a little reckless. Of course, Forbes isn’t suggesting people try out the fastest luge track in the world. Instead, they are sending people to a luge training facility. But nonetheless, the article says that after a couple of hours of practice you too can find yourself racing down a track at at speeds of 50 miles per hour or more. I have got to imagine that in retrospect the Forbes reporter wishes he had focused on ice dancing.

Forbes doesn’t find any of the surely many who have been at least somewhat hurt in luge. I would suspect that people can get pretty beaten up. Unsurprisingly for the Republican led Forbes, one of the things that draws the magazine to the sport is tax breaks. The article touts a luge camp run by the USA luge team, which is a non-profit. So 50% of the $2,000 cost of the two-day camp in Lake Placid is tax deductible. Presumably, co-pays for being rushed to the emergency room from the camp can come out of your tax-free flexible savings account.

The article says that no matter how many times you try luge you get a heart pounding rush every time you race down the track. But don’t worry, Forbes says, it’s safe. Here’s the article’s unfortunate ending:

The worst that happens? “Bumps and bruises,” says Sheer. “The ego is the most common injury.”