The post today was inspired by the snow-day and watching GMU students sled down hills and throw snowballs at each other on campus. Would you rather go down a slope head or feet first? These athletes go both! Congrats to Team USA’s Luge & Skeleton Teams!
Luge speed can exceed 95 mph at a vertical drop of 30 stories (300 feet). The United States has two full-length, certified, Olympic-style luge tracks (Park City, Utah and Lake Placid, N.Y.). USA Luge achieved Olympic success over a decade ago, medaling in the 1998 XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, winning silver and bronze medals in the doubles’ competition.
Skeleton athletes can reach up to 80 mph in speed while sledding down the track. Athletes must power the 75-100 lb. sled off the starting block by sprinting and then using finesse to steer the sled with their knees and shoulders. Skeleton was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1928 but was not secured into each Winter Game until 2002. Team USA has been the most successful country is skeleton winning 6 medals.
Luge athlete’s fly down the slopes feet first while skeleton athletes are head first.
Team USA Skeleton Athletes!
Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah)
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.)
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.)
John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.)
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.)
The women will race Feb. 13-14 and the men will compete Feb. 14-15.
Team USA Luge Athletes!
Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y. (men’s singles)
Tucker West of Ridgefield, Conn. (men’s singles)
Aidan Kelly of West Islip, N.Y. (men’s singles)
Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y. (women’s singles)
Kate Hansen of La Canada, Calif. (women’s singles)
Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa. (women’s singles)
Matt Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y. & Preston Griffall of Salt Lake City (doubles)
Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Wash. & Jayson Terdiman of Berwick, Pa. (doubles)