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White Castle USA Luge Slider Search on the road in Glens Falls and Utica with new COVID protocols in place

By Sandy Caligiore | Sept. 01, 2020, 2:20 p.m. (ET)


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – After successful recruiting clinics the past two Sundays in Lake Placid that saw full attendance, USA Luge is ready to hit the road and head south to continue the White Castle Slider Search in Utica and Glens Falls. This year’s schedule, featuring sleds on wheels, started later than usual as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Utica clinics, on Sept. 12, will take place on Cornelia Street between Court and Columbia streets, adjacent to city hall. In Glens Falls, the site is the parking lot at the Great Escape, accessible from exits 20 and 21 of the Adirondack Northway. Clinics in both locations are set for 9-11 AM, 12-2 PM and 3-5 PM. The slider search seeks boys and girls ages 9-13. They are free of charge and each participant receives a complimentary White Castle/USA Luge T-shirt.

Due to coronavirus protocols, each of these sessions will be limited to 10 youngsters to accommodate social distancing. Pre-event registration is mandatory and can be completed by calling 1-800-USA-LUGE, or by logging on to https://www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search.

With virtually all businesses having reopened in New York State, USA Luge decided to move forward with the recruiting tour because of people’s desire to participate in outdoor activities. However, in an abundance of caution, the entire slider search season will occur within the state’s boundaries. At all locations, the organization will deploy new cleaning and sanitizing protocols to keep participants safe.

Other White Castle USA Luge Slider Searches are set for metro New York City later this month, and October 4 back in Lake Placid.

USA Luge’s five rings of safety in this session will include:

1. A strict policy of social distancing (six feet at all times)

2. Wearing of face masks is mandatory

3. All sleds, helmets and registration items (pens, clip boards, tables, etc.) will be disinfected after each use with OSHA recommended cleaning products

4. USA Luge will provide hand sanitizer for all participants

5. Attendees are restricted to two adults per youth

“We’re very happy that White Castle is once again partnering with us to find more luge talent for our future teams,” said Gordy Sheer, Olympic silver medalist and Director of Marketing and Sponsorships. “Certainly, all of us have encountered new and different times in the past six months, but in reducing the number of children, the silver lining is that they will all be safe, and will all get ample attention from the coaching staff.”

Once the participants master the ability to maneuver the sled in both directions, they will then slide from the White Castle USA Luge ramp onto the road surface to negotiate a shallow, gentle cone course.

Under the guidance of national team coaches, the event will give these youth an opportunity to learn luge and qualify to join the USA Luge Junior Development team. This is the first rung on the ladder to national and Olympic team status. Children selected from the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search will be invited to learn the sport on ice next winter in Lake Placid on the same track where national team athletes train and compete each season.

Over 250,000 youngsters have been introduced to luge in this national program since its inception nearly 35 years ago.

“We’re so proud to be a partner with USA Luge in its annual Slider Search, especially this year,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle. “The pandemic doesn’t have to dash anyone’s hopes of becoming an Olympic athlete. This program is helping to keep kids’ dreams alive.”

An Olympic sport since 1964, luge consists of athletes sliding down a track of ice on sleds at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search clinics will have kids luging at much slower, more introductory speeds on the wheeled luge sleds. Participating “sliders” (a name given to luge athletes and the iconic White Castle burger) will ultimately be considered for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. The coaches guiding each clinic include National and Olympic team athletes, giving each young participant professional instruction and inspiration.

Typically, the best of these young athletes would be invited to learn the sport on ice at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, where they would also reside at the Official Training Center of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. However, in this pandemic environment, the on-ice process will be deferred to the future. In lieu of the vagaries of COVID-19, USA Luge encourages the youngsters to participate this winter with the Adirondack Luge Club based in Lake Placid. Log on to www.adk-luge.com.

About White Castle®

White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty sliders as a family-owned business for almost 100 years. Based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle started serving The Original Slider® in 1921. Today White Castle owns and operates more than 360 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customers’ cravings, morning, noon and night and sells its famous fare in retail stores nationwide. The Original Slider, named in 2014 as Time Magazine’s most influential burger of all time, is served alongside a menu of creatively crafted sliders and other mouthwatering food options, including White Castle’s Impossible Slider, named by Thrillist in 2019 as the “Best Plant-Based Fast Food Burger.” White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants, bakeries and frozen-food processing plants. White Castle is known for the legendary loyalty of its team members, more than one in four of whom have worked for White Castle for at least 10 years, and of its faithful fans, affectionately referred to as Cravers, many of whom compete each year for entry into the Cravers Hall of Fame. The official White Castle app, available at iTunes App Store or Google Play, makes it easy for Cravers to access sweet deals and place pick-up orders any time. They can also have their orders delivered using one of White Castle’s delivery partners. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.