Luge

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Luge
Départ d'un lugeur.jpg
Departing German luger at the 2010 Olympics
Highest governing body Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course
First played 1870s
Clubs upper peninsula luge club USA
Characteristics
Contact FIL International Luge Federation
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
Venue Luge tracks
Presence
Olympic Part of Winter Olympic program in 1964 to today - natural luge attempts to gain recognition as an Olympic sport

A luge /ˈlʒ/ is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine (face up) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners with the calf of each leg or exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat. Racing sleds weigh 21–25 kilograms (46–55 lb) for singles and 25–30 kilograms (55–66 lb) for doubles.[1] Luge is also the name of an Olympic sport. Lugers can reach speeds of 140 km per hour (87 mph). Manuel Pfister of Austria, reached a top speed of 154 km per hour (95.69 mph) on the track in Whistler, Canada prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics.[2] Lugers compete against a timer and on artificial tracks are timed to a thousandth of a second, making luge one of the most precisely timed sports in the world. The first recorded use of the term "luge" is 1905, from the Savoy/Swiss dialect of French "luge" meaning "small coasting sled", and is possibly from a Gaulish word with the same root as English sled.[3][4] You can distinguish 2 different types of luge: artificial luge (called also olympic luge) and natural luge (world championships) with different sportvehicles and tracks.

History[edit]

Artificial luge sled, with steel runners removed.
Natural luge sled with rope to stear and runners
A young luger on the start ramp at the Utah Olympic track.
Yekaterina Lavrentjewa (RUS) natural track luge

The practical use of sleds is ancient and widespread. The first recorded sled races took place in Norway sometime during the 15th century.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8] 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.[5] 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.

Artificial tracks[edit]

German luger Thomas Köhler in 1964
Matt Mortensen (top) and Preston Griffall (bottom) are clocked at 80 miles per hour on a run at Sanki Sliding Centre in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Curves 11 and 12 on the Utah Olympic track near Park City, Utah.
For more details on this topic, see List of bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton tracks.

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.[4]

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 a brush of 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 further down the track. Artificial track luge is the fastest and most agile sledding sport.[4]

Natural track luge[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of natural luge tracks.
natural luge track in Moscow (RUS)

Natural tracks are adapted from existing mountain roads and paths. Artificially banked curves are not permitted.[9] 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.[4] Most of the tracks are situated in Austria and Italy, with others in Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Canada, Switzerland, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Turkia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Bulgaria, Romania, New Zealand and the United States. The Upper Peninsula Luge Club[10] in Negaunee, Michigan, is home of the only lighted natural track luge run in the United States.[11] The over 800 meter (half-mile) track features 29 curves along its 88-meter (289 ft) vertical drop. The club hosts international luge events and offers luge instruction to the public during the winter months.[4]

Luge natural track on wheels luge camp

Sled’s can now be adapted to take wheels which does not restrict the sport to alpine countries.

  • History of natural luge

Until the beginning of the 20th century toboggan races were run exclusively on snowy forest trails that exhibited partially one or two meter high snow walls at the curve outer sides. In 1910 was the beginning to specifically for sledding/tobogganing/natural Luge to create paths and to freeze the bank the curves, to make it more navigable and with that the first synthetic or artificial tracks had emerged. Because few such paths were available, the early toboggans’t mostly continue on forest roads without the banked curves. The natural tracks are recognized for their flat track base characteristics. (no banked curves) [1] Until the 1960s there was still no formal separation between artificial and natural luge and the athletes were not specializing. For both types of tracks the same toboggans were used and the competition rules were not different. [2] Due to the small number of tracks most competitions were held on natural tracks, only in the 1950s were tracks on the increase. After the Olympic debut of 1964, the sports of artificial and natural tracks in luge stood up as separate disciplines but remain under the one federation. At this time World and European Championships were subsequently assessed as artificial track competitions, regardless of whether they were actually held on the artificial or, as most often the case, on natural track. [2] In 1966 the International Luge Federation (FIL) the governing body for the sport of Luge was established. For the Alpine countries natural luge competitions were conducted and proved very popular. In 1967 there was the European Cup, 1970, resulted in Kapfenberg the first European championships through and 1979, the first World Cup was held in Inzing. Since 1992 there has been a World Cup, which is held over six championship rounds per season as in the international championships in single-seat sleds for men and women as well as in a two-seater (Double). Besides that there is the Intercontinental Cup, which is mainly to promote young talent. [3] In European and World Championships, a team competition, each with a single- competition for women and men and a double is executed. Junior European Championships was established since 1974 and a Junior World Championships since 1997. It has a rhythm developed, which events will be held in the odd years; World Championships and Junior European Championships and in even years the European Championship and the Junior World Championships. Since the 2014/15 season, there is a substitute for the Intercontinental (IC Cup) the Junior World Cup (JWC) with 4 races, which are counted in the classes juniors I and juniors II. The International Luge Federation has campaigned since the 1970s to have the natural discipline recognition as an Olympic discipline; but so far all attempts failed to get the sport of Natural Luge in the program of the Olympic Games. [4] World championships have been held since 1979 while European championships have been held since 1970.

  • Technology, equipment and driving technique

A natural track sled consists of two undivided seat brackets and a front and rear bridge constructed from steel, a plastic seat mat is laced to the brackets. You then have two wooden kuffens that turn up at the front and two steel runners or blades fitted to the bottom of the kuffens. For safety there is finger guards fitted to each kuffen on the sides (constructed from wood or metal with plastic inserts). A rein is clearly visible at the front, made from steel wire aid the steering. The blades are set with a slight bow from front to rear fixed at a set angle and are extremely sharp. The track width is not more than 450 mm (for young people up to 400 mm). The width of the entire carriage must not exceed 600 mm. The clearance angle of the runners must not exceed 45° in single seat sleds and 40 ° in the doubles and youth sled. The weight is a maximum of 20 kg for the doubles and 14 kg for the single-seat sleds. [5] The single athlete ice racing sled is used in competition such as World Cup and World Championship ice track races. It takes a lot of skill and training to make it navigate ice tracks. They are very exciting to watch. The maximum weight for a singles sled is 14kg. The doubles ice racing sled is very similar to the singles ice racing sled. The main difference is that it is physically a bit larger to allow 2 athletes to sit on it and as such weighs more than a singles sled. The maximum weight for this sled is 20kg. There is quite some still in setting up a race sled. The athletes wear special footwear. The boots provide rigidly and ankle support and are mounted with plate spikes used to stop or slow the sled and driver for corners. The length and number of spikes are freely selectable. Furthermore, protective helmets, racing suits and special gloves which have optional steel spikes on the inner and outer surfaces of the finger parts, to aid in the start when paddling are all used. [6] At the start, the athlete accelerates the sled with paddle strokes the rest is down to gravity and the co efficiency of friction. The sled is controlled by weight transfer – also the use of the reign is important to lift the kuffen on the same side as the direction you want to turn with the opposite hand- with your feet the outer of the other kuffen is pressed and the sled will turn. [7] The start is from an iced ramp, which is provided with two fluted grab bars. At the start point the weight and dimensions of the sled plus the temperature of the rails and the competitors start number is all subject to scrutineering. [6] To race, athletes need a valid license and insurance. [8] Race times are recorded to hundredths of a second and normally over 3 runs with the combined time totaled. [9] If unfortunate to have a crash, the pilot/athlete may continue to record a time and get a placement. Competitions are dependent on the weather conditions and the condition of the ice; which is naturally frozen, hence the name Natural Luge; but zero and below is necessary to construct the ice tracks. In some parts of the world athletes compete in temperatures of - 25 ° C and below wearing little more than a Lycra suit! At high or extremely low temperatures, the race director is responsible for any decision on changes to the competition based on safety. [10]]

  • Parallel-races Parallel Luge track similar to a ski run
    Parallel-track Seiseralm (ITA)

Natural tracks are constructed partly on existing routes; however, competition tracks have been developed on specially created areas with the given terrain taken into consideration when constructing the course. The tracks are lined with wooden boards, plastic walls and or foam mats which competitors must stay within the boundaries of the track. The surface is prepared with packed snow and then water is applied to form a thick ice surface (weather/temperature critical). The tracks must have a minimum width of 3 m and the curves have a minimum radius of seven meters. The usual length of this nature paths are between 800 and 1200 m, it must not exceed on an average gradient of 13% and a maximum gradient of 25%. The natural track must have at least the following elements: • a left turn • right turn • a bend (left and right) • a combination of curves • a straight Shortened tracks on Which international competitions with special permission from the FIL can be discharged, have a length of at least 300 m. were held (City event in Moscow, Junior World Cup Seiseralm) On seeking a shortened distances in the season 2015/16 tentatively Pursuit. Parallel competitions, which are in held in ski resorts (or City events in the future) are run on short tracks which only reach a length of max. 300 m. Kühtai / Tyrol has been used for the opening world cup races in 2014/5. Despite the shorter track the head on racing is filled with explosive action and is exciting to watch. Cooling systems for freezing the tracks are not admitted, only the “web soles” may be stabilized by environmentally friendly chemical additives. [11] The use of temporarily installable cooling systems (e.g., cooling mats) for refrigeration of the track (short range or parts thereof) is permitted. Agents or additives, which are used to support the refrigeration of the track base are to be compatible in type, (environmentally friendly). Artificially raised curves are not allowed. More than 50 competition standard natural Luge tracks worldwide with runs mainly in Italy, Austria and Germany. Tracks in use, include countries like Russia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as in Canada and the United States. [12] There are around 1,000 natural tracks for recreational sliders. Meanwhile, almost every major ski resort in the central Alps have specially prepared toboggan runs. [Edit | edit source]

  • Organization

Natural Luge is internationally recognized within the International Luge Federation (FIL), sport tobogganing, sledging and tobogganing are part of the ISSU International Sledge Sport Union Represented. In Germany, the tobogganing is the Bobsleigh and Luge Federation for Germany (BSD) in Austria by the Austrian Luge Federation (ÖRV), in Switzerland by the Swiss Sliding, organized in South Tyrol / Italy from the Winter Sports Federation FISI and in Liechtenstein from Liechtenstein Luge Association. The United Kingdom have the Great Britain Luge Association (GBLA). Participating nations in this sport are from: Italy, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain & NI, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Finland, Norway, Turkey and Sweden. [Edit | edit source]

  • Variants

The sled can be adapted for summer races by fitting wheels similar to that used in, in-line skates. Here, up to 20 roller wheels using bearings attached to steel rails bolted to the sled, instead of the sharp steels used on the ice are fitted which, allow athletes to drive on roads which are closed to ensure safety for all participants. For the braking into the corners the boots have parts of tires glued to the sole to aid the loads due to friction under high speed breaking. Gloves are essential with solid protection for the palm of the hand. A homologated helmet is a must both full and half face are used. (optional padding as required) The race tracks have lengths of about 800 - 1200 m with an average gradient of 10 - 12% on. Braking points and curves are protected by barriers, usually foam padding or bails of hay. The speed limits are up to 90 km/h. Both single and doubles compete with classes from juniors to seniors. For many winter sports enthusiasts this is a good training giving technical, physical and mental preparation for the Natural Track Luge. Furthermore, for non-alpine countries this is the only practical way to train and promote this sport. The FIL has in recent years run a tourbus to promote the sport of Natural Luge using the wheeled format. In Europe competition in the Natural track of luge is growing with an international Cup - a race series of the Austrian Luge Federation (ORV) founded in the 90s - are also the Racing Grand Prix discharged from Europe, ISSU European and World Cup. Promoting, the role Luge/sledding in Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey and the Czech Republic. [15] Great Britain hold two wheeled events per year with the option to enter the street luge and UK gravity races over 5 rounds.

  • Hornschlitten - hornsledding

is a variant of Natural Luge sleds the horn sled has three people: a pilot (also handlebars or called helmsman), a brakeman and a “backpack” (also called runners). The Horn sleigh was originally a working device of mountain farmers, to transported hay into the valley, or transport harvested timber to the yard. Today’s sleigh is a portable sports equipment and provided with a bar brake. For over a decade, the European Cup and the roof of the FIL (International Luge Federation) was discharged and every 2 years was a European champion crowned. The races are mostly held in the Alpine countries Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland. Since 1995 European Championships have been held, and since 2000 there has been a European Cup. [13] The Horn sleigh sport has changed the umbrella organization in the 2013/2014 season. New the European Cup races and European Championships are under the umbrella of international Sledge Sport Union (ISSU) executed. [14]

  • Recognition of Natural Luge as an Olympic discipline

The International Luge Federation has since the 1970s made numerous attempts to gain recognition of Natural Luge as an Olympic discipline, but failed to get the sport in the program of the Olympic Games. [4] Until the Second World War there was many toboggan races, partly also the major international events took place on natural tracks. These are routes that are based on existing roads and are therefore adapted to the natural conditions. In the 1950s, the tobogganing was increasingly shifted to designated tracks were characteristics were developed raised curves and rounded side walls. This track type dominated from then and almost all international competitions but was known as artificial (what you now see on what’s commonly known as the bobsleighs track) - the Olympic debut in 1964 - took place on these man-made routes. The infrastructure of Natural Luge failed to compete against it in that time, several teams disbanded and nature paths were not used. To counteract this, the natural track Commission, who exclusively took care of the sport from 1967, and the FIL in 1966 backed international racing on natural track, and in 1970 the first European Championships were held. At these competitions many athletes regularly took part because the discipline was especially popular in the Alpine countries. [38] Building on this success, the Austrian FIL President Bert Isatitsch who asked in March 1974 that Natural Luge be used as a demonstration sport for the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. Isatitsch stated in his application:

the consolidation of natural track luge at the international level, where real amateurs in the sense Olympians competed for gold, silver and bronze! Behind this desire there are more than 50,000 amateur athletes from 26 countries, which through the years sport exercise the Olympic spirit “BERT Isatitsch, March 4, 1974 [39] 

This request was not allowed by the IOC as with all Winter Games since 1968, the host country were not permitted to hold demonstration sports. Also another request Isatitschs put forward to the Program Commission of the IOC in October 1976 to give the natural track luge sport Olympic status was unsuccessful [40] Nevertheless, persecuted members of the natural track Commission’s continue to lobby for Olympic status. The 1977 elected Chairman of the Commission, Hans Wanner; proclaimed at the beginning of his tenure that one of its main objectives, was to allow natural track lugers participating in the winter Olympics, as part of the 1982 World Cup. The topic returned one more time back in the media, as the assets from Poland, the Soviet Union, East Germany and other Eastern Bloc countries did not participate in the big event. The accusation that these countries would boycott the World Cup to sabotage the natural track luge sport itself, was denied. Nevertheless, the Polish FIL Vice President Lucjan Świderski spoke against the inclusion of sport in the Olympic program because it is not as popular as it once was. Also Isatitsch saw the weather depending sport as reason why natural Luge would not be accepted as an Olympic sport. [41] Nevertheless, in the following years, further efforts to accommodate the sport of natural luge in the program of the Olympic Games. For the 1984 and 1992 Winter Olympics the FIL failed again with an attempt to stage Natural Luge as a demonstration event. [42] In 1998, a renewed request to the IOC asked to take up the natural track luge in 2006 in the Olympic program. [43] After great efforts the FIL and the Association of International Olympic winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) and the host of the Games in Turin were in favor of recognizing the sport. IOC vice president Thomas Bach at a press conference in January 2001, agreed the FIL was on the right path, but a few points need to be improved. However, the loss of power of some nations to tip the scales was too large and there were also questions to the infrastructure that would have to be resolved. [44] In October 2001, FIL President Josef Fendt announced that his organization would continue to make great efforts to get Natural Luge recognizing and onto the program of the Olympic Games in Turin 2006.[45] In August 2002, the IOC, dented any project to include Natural Luge, but said they were open to further talks. [46] Failure again in 2005, the IOC was again against launching Natural Luge after it had previously given the FIL hope after intensive talks with the organizers of the 2010 winter Games in Vancouver who had expressed interest in an expansion of the program. [47] Natural luge was also a topic of discussion, to take part in the winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 in Innsbruck; [48] this goal was not and has not been achieved [49].

Events[edit]

There are four luge disciplines.

  • Men's singles
  • Doubles (mixed event)
  • Women's singles
  • Team Relay (Olympic discipline starting in 2014)

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).[1] Older competitors may enjoy the sport in masters (age 30–50), and senior masters (age 51+) classes.[12] 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.[4]

Rules and procedures for races are very precise:

  • A drawing is held to determine start order for the race. Athletes are assigned a number which is displayed on a bib. During major national and international events, Men's singles consists of four runs. Women's singles and doubles competitions consist of two runs. The cumulative time of all runs is used to determine finish order. In all three events, the start order after the first run is determined by the outcome of the previous run, with the last-place slider sliding first, the next-to-last place slider sliding second, and so forth, with the leader of the previous run sliding last.[4]
  • Physical measurements of the sled are taken, and the temperature of the sled's steel blades is checked and may not be more than 5 °C above that of a previously established control temperature. Additionally, for artificial track races the athlete must first be weighed. This is to determine if the athlete is entitled to carry extra weight on their body while sliding. Men may use additional weight amounting to 75% of the difference between body weight and a base weight of 90 kg. Women may use additional weight amounting to 50% of the difference between body weight and a base weight of 70 kg. Doubles athletes may use additional weight amounting to 50% of the difference between body weight and a base weight of 90 kg. Additional weight is not allowed if the body weight of the front person and back person together exceeds 180 kg.[4] If one of the partners weighs more than 90 kg, the weight exceeding the 90 kg mark is added to the lighter partner. If there should still be a difference between the partner’s weight and the 90 kg mark, the difference can be compensated according to an official weight table.[1] Between runs athletes are randomly selected for additional weight checks. Before each run the sled (with the athlete, for artificial track races) is weighed at the start ramp.
  • Once an athlete is on their sled they are audibly notified that the track is clear. At this point a tone sounds and the athlete has thirty seconds to begin their run. A run becomes official when an athlete and their sled, in contact with one another, crosses the finish line. If an athlete and sled are not within contact of one another the athlete is disqualified from further competition. Disqualifications may also take place for any violation of rules and regulations. Certain disqualifications may be appealed.[1][4]

Training[edit]

The sport of luge requires an athlete to balance mental and physical fitness. To become an elite luger, a competitor must begin training at an early age and spend decades honing their skills. Physically, a luger must have strong neck, upper body, abdominal, and thigh muscles.[13] Strength 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. Mentally a luger must maintain total focus as they steer their sled through more than a kilometer of curves and straights at high speed. Dozens of subtle movements and weight shifts are required to find the perfect line down the track. Consistency is essential for success. Sled maintenance is also an important element for success. Serious lugers spend hours meticulously sanding their "steels," and making other important adjustments and repairs to their sleds. No luger can possibly achieve elite status without working closely with an experienced coaching staff, implementing suggestions and fine tuning technique. Other lugers will often give tips that can improve a slider's ability to find the "sweet spot" on the track. Though luge is a winter sport, it requires daily, year-round training.

Risks[edit]

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 in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.[14] 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.[15] Kumaritashvili was the fourth athlete to die while in preparation for a Winter Olympics competition, following speed skier Nicolas Bochatay, 27, who died while preparing for the Albertville 1992 games, British luger Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski and skier Ross Milne, 19, who both died in the run-up to the Innsbruck 1964 games.[13]

Governing body[edit]

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.[16] It is traditionally dominated by German representatives, however.

The following persons have been president of the FIL:

Olympic Medal table[edit]

A man with a goatee wears a red-white-and-yellow tight jumpsuit, with a red-and-white vest over it, and a red helmet with a raised full-faced visor. He shows a concentrated look. Partially hidden behind him is another man, wearing a black tracksuit jacket and winter cap.
Georg Hackl of Germany is the most successful Olympic luger, having won five medals, of which three are gold medals attained in three consecutive Olympics.
A man with a soul patch wears a red-and-white tight jumpsuit, with a red-and-white vest over it, and a metallic silver helmet with a raised full-faced visor. He is sat on the ground with his arms resting upon his legs.
Armin Zöggeler is the first Italian athlete to have won one medal in six consecutive Olympics and the second luger to do so, after Hackl.
Three smiling men stand side-by-side in front of a crowd of photographers. Each holds up a flower bouquet with their right arm, and wears the same tight black-and-white jumpsuit with some yellow and red stripes. The man on the left wears a white cap, while the one in the middle wears a red headband.
German lugers Felix Loch (center) and David Möller (left) occupied the first and second places, respectively, of the men's singles at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Spectators at the Whistler Sliding Centre watching lugers pass the point on the track where Kumaritashvili crashed and died.
For more details on this topic, see List of Olympic medalists in luge.

Men's singles[edit]

Current Olympic champion: 1st, gold medalist(s)  Germany (GER) 2nd, silver medalist(s)  Russia (RUS) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)  Italy (ITA)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 10 7 6 23
2 Italy 3 2 3 8
3 Austria 1 2 6 5
4 Russia 0 3 2 5
5 Latvia 0 0 1 1
Total 14 14 14 42

Doubles[edit]

Current Olympic champion: 1st, gold medalist(s)  Germany (GER) 2nd, silver medalist(s)  Austria (AUT) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)  Latvia (LAT)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 10 4 6 20
2 Austria 3 3 2 8
3 Italy 2 2 3 7
4 United States 0 2 2 4
5 Latvia 0 1 1 2
6 Russia 0 1 0 1
Total 15 13 14 42

Women's singles[edit]

Current Olympic champion: 1st, gold medalist(s)  Germany (GER) 2nd, silver medalist(s)  Germany (GER) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)  United States (USA)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 10 12 9 31
2 Italy 2 0 0 2
3 Austria 1 2 3 6
4 Russia 1 0 1 2
5 United States 0 0 1 1
Total 14 14 14 42

Team relay[edit]

Current Olympic champion: 1st, gold medalist(s)  Germany (GER) 2nd, silver medalist(s)  Russia (RUS) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)  Latvia (LAT)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 1 0 0 1
2 Russia 0 1 0 1
3 Latvia 0 0 1 1
Total 1 1 1 3

Total Olympic Ranking (2014)[edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany[17] 31 23 21 75
2 Italy 7 4 6 17
3 Austria 5 7 7 19
4 Russia[18] 1 5 3 9
5 United States 0 2 3 5
6 Latvia 0 1 3 4
Total 44 42 43 129

Fatal accidents[edit]

Competitor Year Track Section Race Event Vehicle
United Kingdom Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski 1964 Austria Igls Training run 1964 Winter Olympics Luge
Poland Stanisław Paczka (pl) 1969 Germany Königssee First run FIL World Luge Championships 1969 Luge
Georgia (country) Nodar Kumaritashvili 2010 Canada Whistler Training run 2010 Winter Olympics Luge
Switzerland Nicolas Bochatay 1992 Albertville Training run 1992 Winter Olympics Luge
Austria Ross Milne 1964 Innsbruck Practice run 1964 Winter Olympics Luge

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rules of Artificial Track Luge
  2. ^ "Whistler's fast luge track poised risky". News.xinhuanet.com. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Luge, extreme sport disciplines". 
  5. ^ a b "United States Luge Association". Usaluge.org. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  6. ^ "International Luge Federation". Fil-luge.org. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  7. ^ Delta Sky Mag: 124. January 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Briggeman, Kim (2014-02-06). "Lolo Hot Springs was home to first, 'pretty crude' American luge run". Missoulian. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Rules of Natural Track Luge" (PDF). FIL. 
  10. ^ "The Upper Peninsula Luge Club". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Negaunee Luge Hill Open for Public Use". The North Wind. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  12. ^ "United States Luge Association". usaluge.org. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  13. ^ a b "Rules to play Luge". 
  14. ^ Footage of the accident
  15. ^ "Joint VANOC/FIL statement". Vancouver2010.com. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  16. ^ "Member Countries – International Luge Federation". Fil-luge.org. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  17. ^ including East Germany and West Germany
  18. ^ including Soviet Union

External links[edit]