Olympic ceremony dedicated to Georgian luger

VANCOUVER: Tributes have been paid at the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics to the Georgian luger killed in a training crash.

Organizers dedicated Friday''s ceremony to 21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died after a high-speed accident in Whistler earlier in the day.

A minute''s silence was observed and the Canadian and Olympic flags were lowered to half staff.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said “It is with great sadness that we acknowledge this tragic loss.''''

Vancouver organizing chief John Furlong told athletes to carry the luger''s “Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your heart.''''

The 11-member Georgian delegation received a standing ovation as they marched in the ceremony wearing black arm bands.