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Get the Sochi fever when the Norton Luge Challenge visits Wachusett Mt Ski Area

Jan. 02, 2014, 10:51 a.m. (ET)

WORCESTER, Mass. - As the top luge athletes from around the world gather in mid-January to compete in the seventh World Cup of the season in Oberhof, Germany, first time luge racers will get a chance to experience the sport at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area when the Norton Luge Challenge comes to town.

Winter sports fans can hop on a sled, experience the thrill of luge and take a shot at glory during the event on January 11-12, 2014.

The luge challenge will occur just four weeks prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games.Worcester, Mass.-based Norton│Saint-Gobain, title sponsor of the Luge Challenge, is also the primary sponsor of the U.S. Luge Team, and recently announced an extension of the relationship through 2018. The company is especially excited about the team’s steel runners, formulated by Norton│Saint-Gobain. They are helping the athletes find more speed on the Road to Sochi.

Families and winter sports enthusiasts who attend the weekend event can experience the Fastest Sport on Ice® in a safe slope-side setting, with help from USA Luge Olympians, international medalists and coaches. Participation in the Norton Luge Challenge is free, and no experience or lift ticket is required. Registration begins at 9 a.m. each day.

After learning the basics of accelerating, steering and stopping from USA Luge athletes and coaches, adults and children, age 10 and older, can take practice runs on a recreational version of a luge sled down a track complete with curves and timing equipment. In addition, fans can enjoy a live DJ/emcee and prize drawings, while participants spend the afternoon tackling the course in a race against the clock.

These competitors will be out to win valuable fun prizes from USA Luge and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, base layers from CW-X, as well as items from Dow, Pilot, Valiant and the National Guard.Additionally, coaches and athletes will be scouting each event for young athletes who show potential. These individuals may be invited to participate in screening camps at a USA Luge training facility in Lake Placid, N.Y. or Park City, Utah.Since 1996, the Norton Luge Challenge has introduced the sport to thousands of fans nationwide. This year, with the help of U-Haul, USA Luge will make the trip from their team headquarters in Lake Placid, N.Y. to Wachusett Mountain Ski Area with their sleds and equipment.