LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - How do members of the U.S. National Luge Team get their start in the Fastest Sport on Ice? It’s through the USA Luge Slider Search, now in its 29th year, which targets boys and girls ages 9 to 13.
Young athletes who want to experience the thrill of luge and train under the guidance of USA Luge national team coaches and athletes can do so when the Slider Search rolls into select cities this spring.
"The Slider Search is a key program for our organization," said Fred Zimny, recruitment manager for USA Luge and U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 2000. "We look forward to giving enthusiastic youngsters the chance to have fun, experience the sport and perhaps qualify for our Junior Development Team."
Slider Search clinics will take each day from 9-11 a.m, 12-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Participants can register for the clinic of their choice and all clinics are free. Plus, all participants will receive a free USA Luge t-shirt, courtesy of Pilot Chemical. Clinics are filling quickly, so register today for a chance to begin what could be the start of your Olympic journey.
Here is the schedule for the 2014 Slider Search:
New York City
April 26 & 27
Bayside, Queens, N.Y.
May 10 & 11
Bowman’s Farm Road (near Airport Drive)
May 17 & 18
South Cass Avenue (between 55th Street and West Dallas Street)
La Canada Flintridge, CA
May 31 & June 1
Foothill Blvd. adjacent to La Canada High School
La Canada, Calif.
During a Slider Search clinic, USA Luge coaches and athletes teach youngsters the basics of riding a luge sled, including position, steering and stopping. Armed with the basics, the young athletes make several runs down a paved street on wheeled sleds. Those who show the most promise at the clinics are invited to train in Lake Placid, N.Y. or Park City, Utah and will be considered for selection to the U.S. Junior Development Luge Team.
The Slider Search is among the programs supported by the Citi Every Step of the Way® program, which benefits the next generation of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across the country. The program supports U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs that inspired Team Citi athletes, including 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin, on their journeys from ambition to achievement. To learn more about the program, visit https://everystep.citi.com/.
USA Luge uses the Slider Search as its primary means of athlete recruitment. U.S. Luge athletes have captured over 600 international medals since 1994. Included in that total are silver and bronze medals during the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, bronze in the Sochi Winter Games, 26 World Cup victories, four overall World Cup doubles crowns, 18 Junior World Championship titles and 12 World Championship medals.