A typical Adirondack sport for all kids
Luge is the French word for "sled". It's been an Olympic sport since 1964, and the U.S. Luge Association, which is our national team, is based here in Lake Placid, just about 2 miles from the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa.
In fact, Mirror Lake Inn owner Lisa Weibrecht was a national luge champion in the late 1970s.
During the summer, the USLA hits the road and recruits youngsters to become our national and Olympic athletes of the future. How is it done? The team has sleds on wheels and a traveling ramp. Coaches secure gently sloped roads that can be closed to vehicular traffic. They provide the coaching and everyone has a great time.
However, this week, the ramp and sleds are here in our village on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30. Bring the youngsters and introduce them to a new sport and a great organization on Recycle Circle Lane, located off Rt. 73 on the edge of Lake Placid.
A youngster wheels his way down the course recently at the Lake Placid site.
The kids that show some potential are then contacted later and invited to attend a winter camp in Lake Placid at the Mount Van Hoevenberg course. These young athletes are introduced to the rudiments of luge from the bottom of the track (kind of like learning to ski on the bunny hill). They are housed at the United States Olympic Training Center and live like Olympians but with chaperones to make sure they do their homework.
Almost every current member of the U.S. National and Junior National Team was discovered in this manner, including 2009 World Champion and two-time Olympian Erin Hamlin, of Remsen, N.Y.
If you'd like more info, just call Fred Zimny, who heads recruitment for the USLA. Phone 1-800-USA-LUGE x 105.