Americans make international luge news at the 2018 FIL Congress in Slovakia

By Sandy Caligiore | June 25, 2018, 7:32 a.m. (ET)

 

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – USA Luge returned last week from the 66th gathering of the International Luge Federation (FIL) in Bratislava with a few more organization members on the board and several committees.

However, there was one American who announced that he was officially leaving the sport as Secretary General Svein Romstad of Atlanta retired after six terms in the FIL’s number two position behind re-elected President Josef Fendt.

Romstad, of Norwegian descent, was replaced by Einars Fogelis of Latvia. At the end of Romstad’s final report – an emotional presentation that covered the highlights of his years – the attendees saluted him with a standing ovation.

Before the representatives of 32 nations, USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy and former president Dwight Bell presented Romstad with a parting gift as a token of appreciation. The FIL named him an honorary member.

“We wanted to thank Svein for his many years of service to the sport of luge,” said Leahy. “Svein was nominated for the position of Secretary General over 24 years ago by USA Luge. As a token of our appreciation we awarded him a crystal plaque as a gift from our organization.”

Prior to the conclusion of the three-day meeting, Bell was elected to the Executive Board of the FIL as an at-large member; USA Luge President Erin Warren was elected to the FIL Court of Arbitration; Claire Del Negro was re-elected unopposed as Vice President of Sport; Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer remained the Athlete Representative on the Executive Board; USA Luge Assistant Coach Lubomir Mick was elected to the Technical Commission;
Dr. Eugene Byrne of Lake Placid Sports Medicine was named as a member of the Medical Commission; and Leahy continues in his role as a member of the Marketing Working Group.

Also, Armin Zoeggeler of Italy, the only winter sports athlete in history to win medals in six Olympic Games, was elected Vice President of Technical Affairs. He replaced Fogelis, who stepped down and won election as the new Secretary General.