It's time to show our support for our athletes on the USA Luge team this weekend by attending the Viessmann Luge World Cup on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
This is the second Viessmann World Cup of the season, and Lake Placid is honored to have one of these prestigious international events designated for the local track. There are only nine on the schedule, including one last weekend in Germany, one in Whistler, Canada, one in Park City, Utah, three more in Germany, one in Latvia, and one on the new sliding track in PyeongChang, South Korea, site of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. That doesn't include the International Luge Federation's World Championships at Innsbruck, Austria.
Lake Placid is not guaranteed a World Cup for luge every year, and in order to show the FIL this village deserves to continue hosting World Cup events, we need residents and visitors to support our athletes by cheering them on at the track.
On Friday, here is the schedule: 10 a.m., doubles; 12:40 p.m., men. The medal ceremony for these events will be held in the Medals Plaza at the track.
On Saturday, here is the schedule: 9:30 a.m., women; and 12:40 p.m., team relay. The medal ceremony for these events will be held in the Medals Plaza at the track.
The second annual Running of the Balls fundraiser for USA Luge will take place after the team relay event, around 1:55 p.m. Saturday.
For those who absolutely cannot make it to Mount Van Hoevenberg this weekend, the World Cup races will be streamed live online at www.usaluge.org. Also, the NBC Sports Network will be airing taped coverage of the event from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
One of the challenges USA Luge faces is attracting community support in the Olympic region, mainly from seeing crowds at their hometown events at the Olympic Sports Complex.
It seems there is a lack of excitement when it comes to luge in the U.S., probably because it's a young sport compared to bobsledding, which has deep roots in Lake Placid. Bobsledding gets more attention. Yet luge is just as exciting and dangerous.
These are our friends and neighbors at USA Luge putting athletes such as Erin Hamlin on the podium in the 2014 Winter Olympics. They deserve our support, especially going into the last full World Cup season before the 2018 Winter Olympics.
So, Lake Placid, let's show support for all our Olympians and national governing bodies, particularly USA Luge, by attending the FIL Luge World Cup this weekend and the IBSF World Cup races on Dec. 16-17.
During the IBSF Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup at Mount Van Hoevenberg, the competition starts on Dec. 16 with two-man bobsled, women's bobsled and men's skeleton. On Dec. 17, the world's best women skeleton athletes and four-man teams will tackle the 20-curve course.
With your attendance at the World Cup events this year, we look forward to the Olympic-style atmosphere and the familiar chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" This weekend, let's make it "U-S-A LUGE! U-S-A LUGE!"