Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 Olympics Preview: Luge


Men's Singles
Women's Singles
Men's Doubles
Team Relay


Luge more or less started when one person told someone else they could sled to the bottom of the hill faster. Then when the loser went and got his big brother to add weight and experience to his sled, two-man luge was born. That's pretty much the long and the short of this event. Luge can be one of the more dangerous events of the winter games as there isn't much protection for the riders as they barrel down the track and try to navigate the turns at nearly 100 miles per hour.
In addition to the traditional singles and doubles events, a team relay has been added. For the team relay, it will be a combination of a men's single, women's single and men's double run through the course.


If your country was an Axis Power in World War II, chances are you're good at Luge. Even though Luge wasn't officially an Olympic event until 1964, only 1 gold medal has been won by a non-Axis nation (USSR). The Germans are absolutely ludicrous at Luge, accounting for 60% of all Luge medals won. East Germany (29 medals, 13 Golds) leads the pack, with Germany (26 medals, 11 Golds), West Germany (10 medals, 1 Gold) and the Unified Team of Germany (5 medals, 2 Golds) accounting for other German medals. Austria (18 medals, 5 Golds) and Italy (16 medals, 7 Golds). Italian Armin Zoggeler will be competing in his 6th Olympics and has the opportunity to become the first luger to win 6 medals in their lifetime. He has 2 Golds (2002 and 2006), 1 Silver (1998) and 2 Bronzes (1994 and 2010). However, he will have to topple the two Germans who topped him in Vancouver - Gold Medalist Felix Loch and Silver Medalist David Moller. On the women's side, German women have won Gold in the last 4 Olympics and return the reigning Gold Medalist (Tatjana Hufner, who also won Bronze in 2006) and Bronze Medalist (Natalie Geisenberger). The only Gold not currently held by German's is in Men's Doubles where the Austrian brother tandem of Andreas and Wolfgang Linger have won Gold in the last two Olympics.

US Hopefuls

The US has never medaled in singles Luge. Their two Silvers and two Bronzes both came in Men's Doubles. There doesn't seem to be much hope for the US men this year as all of the Gold Medalists from Vancouver are returning along with traditionally strong competitors like Zoggeler.


Zoggeler gets his record 6th medal. Germany dominates the Singles and the Austrian brothers get their third medal in Doubles. Germany and Austria bring it home in team relay.

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