USA Luge Fantasy Camp

By Sandy Caligiore | Nov. 12, 2018, 11:01 a.m. (ET)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – After watching luge racing on television for many years, fans have wondered what it would be like to race to the medals like Erin Hamlin did in 2014 and Chris Mazdzer achieved in 2018.

During the upcoming World Cup season, fans will see sleds whiz across the screen at breakneck speeds on NBC Sports Network and the Olympic Channel. Now it’s everyone’s chance to get the experience of a luge racer during the annual USA Luge Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid April 4-8, 2019.

Participants won’t exactly cruise down Mount Van Hoevenberg at those same speeds, but it will be an experience that conveys the thrill of the fastest sport on ice.

Created, directed and managed by 1998 Olympic silver medalist Gordy Sheer, the USA Luge Fantasy Camp offers its participants an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a world class luge athlete.

The coaching staff, made up of Olympic and World Cup medal winners, offers its expertise to help fully experience the sport of luge with an emphasis on fun and safety, learning this fine art from the bottom of the track in Lake Placid.

The camps provide businesses with a one-of-a-kind opportunity for corporate outings, team building, thanking top employees or rewarding loyal customers. It is also a great chance for the individual interested in experiencing the sensations of a lifetime and simultaneously support the athletes and programs of USA Luge.

As this is a fundraising activity for USA Luge (a non-profit organization) a portion of the $2,000 registration fee will be tax deductible. Here are the highlights:

  • Three days of on ice training,
  • Housing at the same United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid where national team members are housed and train,
  • Instruction includes proper start, steering and racing techniques. A strong emphasis is placed on safety,
  • Video review of each sliding session with coaching staff,
  • One-year membership to the United States Luge Association,
  • A farewell banquet with a fun video review of the camp.

Overview

The village of Lake Placid, N.Y. is synonymous with winter sports. In 1932, the world focused its attention on the picturesque village when it staged North America's first Winter Olympics. In 1980, the tradition continued as Lake Placid hosted the Games once again. Olympic history was made as the U.S. hockey team stunned the world by defeating the powerful Soviet Union and eventually won the gold medal.

Today, the challenging slopes of Whiteface Mountain, ice skating, cross country skiing and quaint shops continue to draw thrill-seekers and tourists alike during the winter months.

The Olympic Sports Complex, site of the luge track, has served up many great moments in team history, including gold medal performances from Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin at the 2000 Winter Goodwill Games, Erin Hamlin's gold medal at the 2009 World Championships, the first-ever for a U.S. woman, and an historic sweep of the World Cup medals by Hamlin, Emily Sweeney and Summer Britcher in 2015.

The USA Luge Fantasy camp will give a few lucky participants an opportunity to slide down the same run where the world's best continue to compete.

Fantasy Camp sliders will experience the sport firsthand as they negotiate their way down a technically demanding course on Mount Van Hoevenberg. Coaches will teach the athletes the basics of sled control and safety. Each session will be captured on videotape and reviewed to further sharpen the skills of the participant.

Athletes will be housed at the United States Olympic Training Center, primary training site for many top U.S. Olympians. The complex includes an impressive weight room facility, a spacious gymnasium, living quarters for athletes, sports medicine facilities, and an elaborate dining area.

Athletes will also have the chance to learn the basics of the luge start on the indoor, refrigerated start ramps at USA Luge's headquarters, adjacent to the Olympic Training Center. The building contains three refrigerated luge training ramps and is the most technically advanced of its kind in the world.

The weekend culminates with a race and a farewell banquet. For more information and to register, call 1-800-USA- LUGE.