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USA Luge seeks young talent through slider search

July 16, 2018
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - White Castle and USA Luge are ready to capitalize on the Olympic momentum that began with Erin Hamlin's 2014 bronze medal and continued with Chris Mazdzer's silver medal four months ago in Pyeongchang, followed by his appearance on ABC Television's Dancing with the Stars.

White Castle is the first and only fast food organization in the United States to become an official partner of USA Luge and title sponsor of the off-season recruitment program, the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search.

The USA Luge Slider Search will offer one session from 9 a.m. to noon, in its hometown of Lake Placid on Saturday, July 28, in the parking lot of the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex on state Route 73.

Article Photos

Russell Foster of Mamaroneck holds on tight atop a USA Luge training sled as he shoots down the 5-foot high start ramp before slaloming through cones in Lake Placid as part of USA Luge’s Slider Search national recruitment program in 2016.
(News file photo — Antonio Olivero)

Kids aged nine through 13 are welcome to attend, experience wheeled luge sleds at slower speeds and ultimately be considered for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. The coaches guiding each event include National and Olympic team athletes, giving each young participant professional instruction and inspiration.

"The White Castle Slider Search is critical to finding luge athletes to represent the United States who will someday go for the gold," said Gordy Sheer, USA Luge Director of Marketing and Sponsorships, and 1998 Olympic silver medalist. "A morning or afternoon of trying something fun and new could be the first step down a path to glory."

The summer and fall tour kicked off May 12-13 in White Castle's hometown of Columbus, Ohio. From there, USA Luge's traveling ramp and wheeled sleds have visited youngsters in Minneapolis on June 2-3; Westmont, Illinois June 16-17, followed by Indianapolis June 23-24, and then Essex Junction, Vermont July 7-8.

Other slider searches are set for the fall in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Long Island and Berwick, Pennsylvania.

An Olympic sport since 1964, luge consists of athletes sliding down a track of ice on sleds, at speeds approaching 90 miles per hour. In addition to six Olympic medals, USA Luge athletes, referred to as "sliders," have won almost 600 elite level and junior international medals since 1994, making the organization one of the most decorated Winter Olympics National Governing Bodies.

USA Luge's longstanding recruitment effort, appropriately titled the "Slider Search," has been instrumental in raising the sport's awareness, driving interest among young athletes and providing the talent pool for future Olympic competitions.

The two slider organizations have collaborated on recruiting since 2017.



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