Sports2022 Winter Olympics

Actions

A beginner's guide to luge at the Winter Olympics

A beginner's guide to luge at the Winter Olympics
Posted at 4:35 AM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 19:15:33-05

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

  • The fastest sport in the Olympics, a single rider goes feet-first and face-up, steering themselves down a special track with their calf muscles and shoulders down, at speeds of more than 80 miles an hour.
  • There are four disciplines, with men's singles and doubles, women's singles, and the team relay in which both gender can compete - although it tends to be men.
  • Germany has dominated the sport, cleaning up 18 gold, 10 silver and 9 bronze medals in past tournaments.

HOW MANY MEDALS FOR LUGE?

There are four gold medals up for grabs: two each for the men's and women's singles, one for the men's doubles, and one for the team relay.

SEE MORE: German team repeats as luge relay winners in 2018

SEE MORE: Luge 101: Learn the basics

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN PYEONGCHANG?

German domination. The "Bayern Express" of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won their second consecutive gold in the men's doubles. Germany won the relay, while Germany's Natalie Geisenberg took gold in the women's singles. Austria's David Gleirscher took gold in the men's singles.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AT THE 2022 GAMES?

Germany will be the team to beat again, though Austria's Gleirscher was strong in last year’s World Championships. Geisenberg, already the most decorated female luger in Olympic history, will be looking to pick up a third successive medal.

SEE MORE: PyeongChang 2018: David Gleirscher's gold-medal run

SEE MORE: Luge 101: Since PyeongChang

 

WHAT'S NEW IN LUGE?

China's luge team will be making its Olympic debut on home turf after starting from scratch in 2015. It is coached by Liechtenstein's Wolfgang Schädler, who was in charge of the U.S. team for 24 years. He was about to retire before being approached for this unique challenge.

WHEN IS LUGE HAPPENING?

Luge events will take place between Feb. 5 and 10.

SEE MORE: How to watch Luge at the 2022 Winter Olympics on NBC and Peacock

SEE MORE: Luger Summer Britcher talks diet, does split jump in heels

WHERE IS LUGE HAPPENING?

The sliding events are being held at the newly constructed Yanqing National Sliding Centre, in a mountainous area.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Learn more about luge history.
Luge, the French word for a small sled, has been around for centuries, but it started to enter its modern form with dedicated tracks in Swiss resort towns in the 19th century. The sport made its Olympic debut in 1964.

WELL FANCY THAT

When Italy's Armin Zöggeler won bronze in Sochi in 2014, the then 40-year old became the first athlete in history to win six medals at six consecutive Olympic Games. A policeman when not competing in the sport, Zöggeler’s success earned him the nickname "the cannibal."