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USA Luge signs Jim Leahy for another 4 years as CEO

2-time Olympian Erin Warren becomes new president

April 13, 2018
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Just two months after Chris Mazdzer raced to an Olympic silver medal in South Korea, USA Luge has started to craft its staffing plans with designs on adding more hardware in 2022.

Mazdzer's medal was the first for the United States in men's singles since luge entered the Olympic program in 1964.

"After Chris's achievement, and the bronze medal from Erin Hamlin four years ago, it's imperative that we keep the momentum going," said Jim Leahy, USA Luge CEO.

Article Photos

USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy smiles during a World Cup race at Mount Van Hoevenberg in December 2015.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Similarly, Hamlin's Sochi bronze was a first for the Americans in women's singles.

"To that end, we are organizing ourselves now for success four years from now in Beijing," Leahy added.

There is a change taking place at the board level where Dwight Bell, who has served five terms as USA Luge president over the past 35 years, has given way to Erin Warren. The two-time Olympian, who finished sixth in Nagano, was voted into office in the March 22 board meeting.

"I am privileged to serve this organization, especially knowing how Dwight's stewardship has served USA Luge so well for so long," Warren said. "This board will remain true to its mission of developing athletes that will compete successfully and honorably at the sport's highest levels."

Warren also stated that Leahy has made a commitment to USA Luge for the next four years.

The national governing body also announced that interim head coach Bill Tavares will shed the interim title and take the reins of the national team for the next four years. Tavares, a 1992 luge Olympian, has coached teams that have won medals in five consecutive Olympic Winter Games, going back to his days as coach of the U.S. women's bobsled team.

Tavares also announced the return of assistant coaches Bengt Walden and Lubomir Mick, as well as strength and conditioning coach Matt Oakes and team manager Keith Younger.

The USA Luge Junior National Team will now be led by Robert Fegg, who takes over as head coach from Fred Zimny. After three decades in the organization, Zimny has decided to pursue other opportunities. Fegg raced with Germany from 1997 to 2001, winning medals at the World Championships and Junior World Championships. He coached with the Canadian Luge Association from 2003 to 2014, and then moved on to coach the Korean national team from 2014 to 2018.

U.S. coaches are now evaluating the current athlete pool and will announce their 2018-2019 national, junior national, C and D teams later this spring.



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