New race suits for USA Luge

By Gordy Sheer, Sandy Caligiore | Nov. 14, 2018, 5:21 p.m. (ET)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - With the new quadrennial cycle underway, USA Luge has commissioned Saranac Lake, N.Y. graphic artist Derek Lavoie to design the team’s race suits for the charge toward the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.

The new design features a white to dark blue gradient fade on the athlete’s arms and legs.  Red, white and blue lines, resembling lightning strikes, also run up the arms and legs, giving the race suit a look of speed and patriotism for the athletes as they compete in World Cup, World Championship and Olympic competitions.

Lavoie submitted 14 designs to USA Luge for consideration.

“I asked Derek to come up with something that created contrast with the white ice, looked fast and featured the colors of our country,” said Gordy Sheer, USA Luge Director of Marketing and Sponsorship. “He came up with some great designs for our athletes and staff to consider, but there was a strong consensus with the design we ultimately chose. From there, Derek refined the suit further.”

Lavoie studied illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, most recently had technical drawings published in the July 2018 edition of Fine Woodworking Magazine and the Fine Woodworking Winter 2019 Tools and Shops issue. He is also a respected bass player, recently finishing a month-long stint on the road with renowned blues artist Vanessa Collier.

"My initial process began with gathering imagery of anything pertaining to winter (even ice crystal molecules) as well as studying previous U.S. Luge race suit designs so I'd have a good knowledge of what came before to hopefully then create a new, exciting look for the team,” said Lavoie. “Ultimately, the final chosen design was inspired by a simple Google search, ‘speed’. It's a true honor to apply my creativity to something so grand as USA Luge.”

The suit design has been passed along to the various race suit manufacturers currently used by USA Luge, with the design set to debut at the first World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria November 24-25.

USA Luge and its broadcast partner NBC, will announce the full schedule for the 2018-19 season shortly.

To learn more about Derek Lavoie, visit www.dereklavoieart.com.