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USA Luge contest seeks best back yard course designers

By Sandy Caligiore | Jan. 27, 2016, 12:17 p.m. (ET)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Hey! Don’t remove all that snow just yet.

Now that so much of the country has received ample snow, how about saving some of it and entering USA Luge’s back yard track contest?

Started last winter, families around the country created and built luge courses, opened it for neighborhood sledding and entered the courses on the team’s Facebook page.

Who knows. You might discover the next Tucker West.

When West qualified for the 2014 United States Olympic luge team, a nation became aware of his entry into the sport, and the legend of back yard luge was born.

The 20-year-old from Ridgefield, Conn., who has also collected World Cup medals, had a luge track in his back yard constructed by his father, Brett West. The idea was spawned when the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City piqued the interest of the Wests. The track soon became a reality on their property.

Young Tucker and his entire neighborhood sledded on Brett’s design, leading Tucker to pursue USA Luge in Lake Placid. So if Southern Connecticut could produce such a track, maybe communities around nation in snow country can do the same.

Now USA Luge is taking the concept to the masses, and is offering winter sports aficionados the opportunity to design the winning track.

On March 16, USA Luge coaches and athletes, at their sole discretion, will select the winning design. Winners will be judged by the length of the course, how well the sleds run from curve to curve, creativity and safety.

“We’re asking fans to like our Facebook page, and submit videos of their home made tracks,” said Gordy Sheer, USA Luge Director of Marketing and Sponsorship. “We’ll also provide updates on the number of entries, and feature submissions on our website and social media platforms (www.facebook/lugeUSA and When we recruit in summer we bring sleds on wheels into neighborhoods around the country. Now we want to look into their back yards for the most fun and safe sledding designs.”

For insurance related information, please review the following:

The top three designs will receive:

--Third prize: USA Luge t-shirt, sweat shirt, poster, hat and pin

--Second prize: USA Luge official team parka

--First prize: A trip down the Lake Placid luge track plus a night at the Olympic Training Center for two, including Olympic venues tours, or a trip down the Park City luge track with lodging. Winners are responsible for getting to Park City or Lake Placid.

And you never know. One back yard track produced an Olympian and World Cup winner. Maybe there’s someone similar who wants to hang out in your back yard?

Related Athletes

head shot

Tucker West