Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Olympics: Luge Preview

Luge Preview

One might wonder why they don’t just call this sled racing (I do) but it turns out that luge is actually the French word for sled. Not sure how the French got the first dibs on calling it this but it is a wild sport, as most of you might know.

1964 was the first time that luge was introduced in the Olympics and it has been a pretty big hit ever since.


Men’s Singles
Women’s Singles


The lugers start in a standing position and push the sled to start, as they then jump into the sled. They start in the sitting position and then lye down in order to become aerodynamic so they can go faster. They slow down by sitting up and pushing their feet on runners in the sled.

The singles events consist of four heats over two days. The individual with the lowest combined time over the four runs wins. Men and women compete on the same track, but the women and doubles begin further down the course. The four-run format is unique to the Olympic Winter Games and designed to reward consistency, endurance and ability to withstand pressure - particularly on the second day.

The doubles event consists of two runs over one day, with the fastest total time determining the winner. All events in luge are timed to the thousandth of a second.

Last winter Olympics, in 2006, Armin Zoeggeler (ITA) took home the gold in the men’s singles, Sylke Otto (GER) took home the singles for the women and in the doubles Wolfgang Linger and Andreas Linger (AUT) took home the Gold. All told the Germans took home four medals out of the nine and the United States did not place anyone. How sweet of a name is Wolfgang though, that team deserves a Gold metal just for that name. I bet he is a baller.

U.S. Hopefuls

Mark Grimmette is the mainstay of a 10-person American luge team with Bengt Walden, who comes to the U.S. after competing for Sweden three times.

U.S. luge has another four-time Olympian in Brian Martin and a three-timer in Tony Benshoof. Grimmette and Martin are the only members of the luge squad who have ever medaled.


Three Rivers Burgh Blog - Zoeggeler is a beast when it comes to winning medals in luge. He has taken home Gold the last two winter Olympics and he is going to retire after this season. Zoeggeler is considered one of the bet luggers to ever participate in the sport and currently holds the points lead in the World Cup. I’ll take him. Expect to see some Germans up on the medal podium as well. Andre Florschuetz and Torsten will look to take home Gold in the doubles. Book it.

The Steelers n’at - Being Italian by descent, I can't bet against my heritage here. Zoeggler's nickname is "Il Cannibale." Do you want to bet against that? I didn't think so. Besides that, I'll say that the German women sweep the medals.

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