USA Luge Annual Meeting and Awards held Nov. 2 in Lake Placid

By Sandy Caligiore | Nov. 05, 2019, 9:58 a.m. (ET)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – In conjunction with the Norton USA Luge National Championships last Saturday, the sport’s national governing body also held its annual meeting and awards at the USOPC Training Center in Lake Placid.

Among the highlights of the gathering was a tour of the new USA Luge start training facility and offices on Church Street in Lake Placid. The project that started in April will be completed in about a month’s time. USA Luge has been residing temporarily in the village beach house on Parkside Drive until the new building opens.

In a related development on Saturday, the Wasatch Luge Club in Utah presented the team with a $5,000 check dedicated to this new center. Club members Pete Gillwald and Ken Yonemura were on hand for the presentation and meeting. USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy and President Erin Warren thanked USLA board member Gillwald for his years of service. Gillwald has termed out as the representative for the Wasatch Luge Club on the USLA board and has been replaced on the board by Yonemura.

Regarding this new, state-of-the-art structure, it will feature two side-by-side iced ramps – much longer than the original ramp - with four different start heights and angles. The project is being managed by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority with grant money from the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The meeting concluded with the following annual awards:

Male Athlete of the Year - Chris Mazdzer

Female Athlete of the Year - Emily Sweeney

Doubles Team of the Year - Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman

Team of the Year - Calgary Team Relay (Tucker West, Summer Britcher, Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman)

Junior Male Athlete of the Year - Not awarded this year

Junior Female Athlete of the Year - Ashley Farquharson

Most Improved Junior Athlete West - Orson Colby

Most Improved Junior Athlete East - Sophia Gordon

Justin Matarese Award (for never giving up) - Wolfgang Lux


The Sam Venezia Volunteer Spirit Award – for significant contributions to USA Luge and its athletes – Jill Cardinale Seeger

The John Jenkins Sport Passion Award – to honor one’s passion and development for the sport – Tony Shimkonis, President, Adirondack Luge Club