LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA Luge has announced the creation of a Hall of Fame, and Olympian Frank Masley, was posthumously made its first inductee. Masley, who succumbed to cancer in September at the age of 56, was the first of three United States flagbearers in the luge team’s history.
The USA Luge Hall of Fame will be found in this two-time Winter Olympic village at a location to be determined.
Masley, of Wilmington, Del., led the entire U.S delegation into the 1984 Opening Ceremony in Sarajevo. He was a member of three Olympic teams and won 10 national championships in his career. Masley is widely recognized by past and present athletes as developing the year-round training regimen so as to compete at the elite international level.
In a continuing tribute to his legacy, the yearly winners of the Norton National Championship will receive the Frank Masley Trophy to honor his achievements on and off the ice.
Masley served in a number of key roles - he was a member of the National Luge Committee, the Chair of the National Team Committee, a member of the design committee for the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic track, the designer of the geometry for the team’s own start ramp in Lake Placid, the creator of the Muskegon luge track, and a consultant on the installation of the fiberglass track, also in Muskegon.
The Hall of Fame initiative is a completely new effort for USA Luge. In recent months, the initial phase of a new policy was approved, creating a hall to honor America’s athletes, coaches and officials that have performed at an extraordinary level and/or helped propel the sport to new levels.
The year 2017 will see the Hall of Fame Committee chosen. After expanding the details outlined in the initial work, the committee will target future inductees beginning in 2018.
The approval of the Frank Masley Trophy and the establishment of a Hall of Fame are two initiatives that make tangible the legacy of a world class athlete whose vision of training and competing were ahead of its time.
As the criteria for induction evolves – be it athletic performance, character and leadership, and contributions off the ice – the USA Luge Board of Directors felt that Frank would be a superb choice.
To that end, the Board also approved a request by acclamation that the first and only charter member of the Hall of Fame, so inducted with this announcement, will be Frank Masley.
At the recent World Cup races held in Lake Placid, the International Luge Federation (FIL) presented Frank’s wife, Donna Masley, with a hand-made sculpture of a luge athlete in action. It has only been given on two other occasions in the history of the FIL and is presented to someone who has made a significant impact on the sport over multiple decades. The award was presented to Mrs. Masley on December 3, 2016 by Svein Romstad, FIL General Secretary.