CHICAGO – USA Luge is 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 Dancing with the Stars.
The USA Luge Slider Search is the off-season recruitment program that travels the nation in the summer and fall looking for more future Olympic medalists.
The tour kicked off May 12-13 in Columbus, Ohio. From there, USA Luge’s traveling ramp and wheeled sleds saw youngsters in Minneapolis June 2-3, with upcoming stops in Westmont, Ill. June 16-17, Indianapolis June 23-24, and Burlington, Vt. July 7-8. The USA Luge Slider Search will also make stops in San Francisco, Long Island, Salt Lake City and the team’s hometown of Lake Placid. Those dates will be announced shortly.
Two clinics are offered daily from 9 AM to 12 PM and from 2 – 5 PM; participants need only attend one. They are free of charge.
The Westmont clinics will take place on Cass Avenue from 55th Street to East Dallas.
“The 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."
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 has been instrumental in raising the sport’s awareness, driving interest among young athletes and providing the talent pool for future Olympic competitions.
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.
Details about USA Luge, the Slider Search program and clinic registration can be found on http://www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search. Each young athlete will receive a complimentary Slider Search t-shirt.