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Departing German luger at the 2010 Olympics
|Highest governing body||Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course|
|Team members||Teams of 1 or 2|
|Mixed gender||Yes, but usually in separate competitions|
|Type||Winter sport, Time trial|
|Equipment||Sled, helmet, suit, visor, gloves, finger spikes, booties|
|Olympic||Part of Winter Olympic program in 1964 to 2026|
A luge // is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine (face up) and feet-first. A luger steers by using their calf muscles to flex the sled's runners or by exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat. Racing sleds weigh 21–25 kg (46–55 lb) for singles and 25–30 kg (55–66 lb) for doubles. Luge is also the name of an Olympic sport.
Lugers can reach speeds of 140 km/h (87 mph). Austrian Manuel Pfister reached a top speed of 154 km/h (96 mph) on a track in Whistler, Canada, prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Lugers compete against a timer in one of the most precisely timed sports in the world—to one one-thousandth of a second on artificial tracks.
The first recorded use of the term "luge" dates to 1905 and derives from the Savoy/Swiss dialect of the French word luge, meaning "small coasting sled."
The very practical use of sleds is ancient and widespread. The first recorded sled races took place in Norway sometime during the 15th century.
The sport of luge, like the skeleton and the bobsleigh, originated in the health-spa town of St Moritz, Switzerland, in the mid-to-late 19th century, through the endeavours of hotel entrepreneur Caspar Badrutt. Badrutt successfully sold the idea of winter resorting, as well as rooms with food, drink, and activities. His more adventurous English guests began adapting delivery boys' sleds for recreation, which led to collisions with pedestrians as they sped down the lanes and alleys of the village.
The first organized meeting of the sport took place in 1883 in Switzerland.In 1913, the Internationale Schlittensportverband or International Sled Sports Federation was founded in Dresden, Germany. This body governed the sport until 1935, when it was incorporated in the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT, International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation). After it had been decided that luge would replace the sport of skeleton at the Olympic Games, the first World Championships in the sport were held in 1955 in Oslo (Norway). In 1957, the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (FIL, International Luge Federation) was founded. Luge events were first included in the Olympic Winter Games in 1964.
Americans were slow to adopt the sport of luge. The first luge run in North America was built at Lolo Hot Springs, Montana, in 1965.Although the United States competed in every Olympic luge event from 1964 through 1976, it was not until 1979 that the United States Luge Association was founded. The first artificial American track was completed in that year for use in the 1980 XIII Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, New York. Since that time the United States luge program has greatly improved. A second artificial track was constructed near Park City, Utah, for the 2002 XIX Olympic Winter Games at Salt Lake City.
Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless, both of Canada, became the first all-female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race in luge in 2019.
Artificial luge tracks have specially designed and constructed banked curves plus walled-in straights. Most tracks are artificially refrigerated, but artificial tracks without artificial cooling also exist (for example, in St. Moritz). Tracks tend to be very smooth.
The athletes ride in a flat, aerodynamic position on the sled, keeping their heads low to minimize air resistance. They steer the sled mainly with their calves by applying pressure on the runners—right calf to turn left, left calf to turn right. It takes a precise mix of shifting body weight, applying pressure with calves and rolling the shoulders. There are also handles for minor adjustments. A successful luger maintains complete concentration and relaxation on the sled while traveling at high speeds. Most lugers "visualize" the course in their minds before sliding.[ citation needed ] Fastest times result from following the perfect "line" down the track. Any slight error, such as brush against the wall, costs time. Track conditions are also important. Softer ice tends to slow speeds, while harder ice tends to lead to faster times. Lugers race at speeds averaging 120–145 km/h (75–90 mph) around high banked curves while experiencing a centripetal acceleration of up to 5g. Men's Singles have their start locations near where the bobsled and skeleton competitors start at most tracks, while both the Doubles and Women's Singles competition have their starthouse located farther down the track. Artificial track luge is the fastest and most agile sledding sport.
Natural tracks are adapted from existing mountain roads and paths. Artificially banked curves are not permitted.The track's surface should be horizontal. They are naturally iced. Tracks can get rough from the braking and steering action. Athletes use a steering rein and drag their hands and use their legs in order to drive around the tight flat corners. Braking is often required in front of curves and is accomplished by the use of spikes built on the bottom of the shoes.
Most of the tracks are situated in Austria and Italy, with others in Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Canada, Switzerland, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Bulgaria, Romania, New Zealand and the United States. The Upper Peninsula Luge Club 88-meter (289 ft) vertical drop. The club hosts international luge events and offers luge instruction to the public during the winter months.in Negaunee, Michigan, is home to one of only five lighted natural track luge runs in the world, and the only natural track in the United States. The over 800 meter (half-mile) track features 29 curves along its
World championships have been held since 1979 while European championships have been held since 1970.
There are five luge disciplines.
These are further broken into several age classes - multiple youth and junior classes that cover the range of age 7–20, and general class (ages 21 and older).Older competitors may enjoy the sport in masters (age 30–50), and senior masters (age 51+) classes. In a team relay competition, one man, one woman, and a doubles pair form a team. A touchpad at the bottom of the run is touched by a competitor signaling a teammate at the top of the run to start.
Rules and procedures for races are very precise:
The sport of luge requires an athlete to balance mental and physical fitness. Physically, a luger must have strong neck, upper body, abdominal, and thigh muscles. Athletes also use Wind Tunnels to trainStrength training is essential to withstand the extreme G-forces of tight turns at high speeds. Since lugers have very little protection other than a visor and helmet, they must be able to endure the physical pounding administered by the track when mistakes are made.
As with many extreme sports, luging has risks. Though most injuries involve bumps, bruises, broken bones and concussions, fatalities do occasionally occur. Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili suffered a fatal crash during his final practice run for the 2010 Winter Olympics on the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.Hours later, the International Luge Federation concluded that the accident was caused by a steering error and not a track error; nevertheless, changes to the track were made before the re-opening. Kumaritashvili was the fourth athlete to die while in preparation for a Winter Olympics competition, following speed skier Nicolas Bochatay, aged 27, who died while preparing for the Albertville 1992 games; and British luger Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki and skier Ross Milne, aged 19, who both died in the run-up to the Innsbruck 1964 games.
The sport of luge is governed by the FIL, Fédération International de Luge de Course. The FIL is located in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and includes 53 member nations.It is traditionally dominated by German representatives, however.
The following persons have been president of the FIL:
up to: 2014
|Totals (5 nations)||14||14||14||42|
up to: 2014
|Totals (6 nations)||15||13||14||42|
up to: 2014
|Totals (5 nations)||14||14||14||42|
up to: 2014
|Totals (3 nations)||1||1||1||3|
up to: 2014
|Totals (6 nations)||44||42||43||129|
|1964||Training run||1964 Winter Olympics|
|1969||First run||FIL World Luge Championships 1969|
|2010||Training run||2010 Winter Olympics|
Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four friends make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh. The timed runs are combined to calculate the final score.
Skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled, known as a skeleton bobsled, down a frozen track while lying face down and head-first. The sport and the sled may have been named from the bony appearance of the sled.
Sledding, sledging or sleighing is a winter sport typically carried out in a prone or seated position on a vehicle generically known as a sled, a sledge (British), or a sleigh. It is the basis of three Olympic sports: luge, skeleton and bobsledding. When practised on sand, it is known as a form of sandboarding.
Gerda Weissensteiner OMRI is an Italian luger and bobsleigh pilot who competed from the late 1980s to 2006. Competing in six Winter Olympics, she won the gold medal in the women's singles luge event at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, and together with Jennifer Isacco she won the bronze in Turin in the two-woman bobsleigh at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She was the first Italian sportsperson to win Olympic medals in two disciplines.
Silke Kraushaar-Pielach is a German luger who competed from 1995 to 2008. In June 2008, she was named sports manager for the luge section of Bob- und Schlittenverband für Deutschland.
The International Luge Federation is the main international federation for all luge sports. Founded by 13 nations at Davos, Switzerland in 1957, it has members of 53 national luge associations as of 2009 and is based in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), originally known by the French name Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT), is the international sports federation for bobsleigh and skeleton. It acts as an umbrella organization for 14 national bobsleigh and skeleton associations as of 2007. It was founded on 23 November 1923 by the delegates of Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Canada and the United States at the meeting of their first International Congress in Paris, France. In June 2015, it announced a name change from FIBT to IBSF. The federation's headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Walter Plaikner is an Italian former luger and coach of Austrian descent who competed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a doubles specialist, and competed alongside Paul Hildgartner. They won the gold medal in the men's doubles event at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. Plaikner also competed at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, where he finished 11th in the doubles after suffering from a severe bout of flu. He retired from competition after the Games.
The Königssee bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track is a venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton located in Schönau am Königsee, Germany. It is located near Königssee. Completed in 1968, it is the first permanent, artificially refrigerated bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track in the world.
The Olympic Sliding Centre Innsbruck is a venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton located in Igls, Austria. The most recent version of the track was completed in 1975 and is the first permanent, combination artificially refrigerated bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track, serving as a model for other tracks of its kind worldwide. It hosted the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton competitions for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.
The Utah Olympic Park Track is a bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track located in the Utah Olympic Park, near Park City, Utah, United States. During the 2002 Winter Olympics, held nearby in Salt Lake City, the track hosted the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events. Today the track still serves as a training center for Olympic and development level athletes, and hosts numerous local and international competitions.
The Sigulda bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track is located in Sigulda, Latvia, built in 1986. Currently, the track manager is Dainis Dukurs, former bobsleigh brakeman and the father of skeleton racers Martins and Tomass Dukurs.
The Whistler Sliding Centre is a Canadian bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track located in Whistler, British Columbia, that is 125 km (78 mi) north of Vancouver. The centre is part of the Whistler Blackcomb resort, which comprises two ski mountains separated by Fitzsimmons Creek. Located on the lowermost slope of the northern mountain, Whistler Sliding Centre hosted the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton competitions for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Paramonovo bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track is a bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton located in Paramonovo, Russia, 60 kilometers (37 mi) outside of Moscow.
The Sliding Center Sanki (Санки) is a bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track located in Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia, located 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Sochi. Located in the Western Caucasus. The venue hosted the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The luge competition events of the 2010 Winter Olympics were held between 13 and 17 February 2010 at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.
The men's luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics took place on 13–14 February 2010 at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. Germany's Felix Loch was the two-time defending world champion and won the gold medal with the fastest time in each of the four runs. The test event that took place at the venue was won by Germany's David Möller, who would win the silver medal in this event. Italy's Armin Zöggeler was the two-time defending Olympic champion and won a bronze medal in this event. The last World Cup event prior to the 2010 games took place in Cesana, Italy on 30 January 2010 and was won by Zöggeler, who also won the overall World Cup title.
The women's luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada took place on 15–16 February at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. Germany's Sylke Otto was the two-time defending Olympic champion. Otto retired midway through the 2006-07 season in January 2007 to pregnancy and after suffering a crash at the track in Königssee, Germany. Erin Hamlin of the United States was the defending world champion. The test event that took place at the venue was won by Germany's Natalie Geisenberger. The last World Cup event prior to the 2010 games took place in Cesana, Italy on 31 January 2010 and was won by Geisenberger. Geisenberger's teammate Tatjana Hüfner, the defending Olympic bronze medalist, won the overall World Cup for 2009-10 season in women's singles.
The doubles luge event at the 2010 Winter Olympics was held on 17 February at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. Twenty teams participated. Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, the defending Olympic and European champions,. won the gold medal. The silver medal was also won by a pair of brothers, Andris and Juris Šics of Latvia. Germans Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch clinched the bronze medal after edging out Italians Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, who were in third place after the first run.
Nodar Kumaritashvili was a Georgian luge athlete who suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics competition in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, on the day of the opening ceremony. He became the fourth athlete to die during preparations for a Winter Olympics, and the seventh athlete to die in either a Summer or Winter Olympic Games.
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