Right here’s the best way to preserve the 2 sledding sports activities straight:
In luge, athletes pace down an icy monitor on a small sled.
In skeleton, they do it headfirst.
Luge is the extra acquainted of the 2. It has a terrific identify. Luge. It’s onomatopoetic, like a sled whooshing down an icy track. (It’s a Swiss time period for a small sled.)
Luge is type of like if you leapt onto your Versatile Flyer and steered down the hill along with your toes, however these sleds weigh 50 kilos and might hit speeds of 90 miles per hour.
After which there’s doubles luge. Is that only one particular person mendacity on high of one other as they race down the icy monitor? Yeah, just about.
They’ve been lugeing within the Olympics since 1964. Lots of people do not forget that some lugers within the Seventies wore Conehead-style helmets to achieve an aerodynamic benefit. These helmets are no longer allowed.
The beginning of the race is significant. The lugers push off with their fingers as they sit dealing with ahead on the sled and attempt to get going as quick as doable, aided by gloves which have spikes to grip the ice. They steer with their calves as they shoot across the corners of the course.
It may be a harmful sport. In 2010, the day earlier than the Olympic competitors started in Canada, Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia flew off the monitor in a coaching run and crashed right into a metal beam. He was killed.
The favourite within the doubles is Germany. The relay favourite is Germany. The boys’s favourite is Johannes Ludwig of Germany. The ladies’s aspect, although, must be a razor-close battle between one other German, Julia Taubitz, and an Austrian, Madeleine Egle.
The USA has performed all proper within the relay within the World Cup this season and will shock with a medal. People have gained six Olympic luge medals, however no golds.
In skeleton, the sledders lie on their stomachs and careen down the course headfirst. After cameos on the St. Moritz Olympics in 1928 and 1948, skeleton joined the Video games completely in 2002.
The weird identify may have arisen as a result of the early sleds reminded a few of skeletons, or from a corruption of a Norwegian phrase for sled, “kjaelke.”
Although steering precisely across the turns is vital — sliders management the sled with small actions of their heads and shoulders — a variety of success or failure comes all the way down to the beginning. It’s a matter of how briskly can the sledders run 25 or so meters, and the way effectively can they convert that foot pace into pace on the course? To assist them grip the ice initially, athletes’ footwear have as much as 300 tiny spikes on them.
As a result of sledders are going headfirst, skeleton creates a particular danger of head injuries.
One man — Martins Dukurs of Latvia — has dominated skeleton, profitable 11 of 13 World Cups since 2010. However he has discovered frustration on the Olympics. He was the favourite at each the 2010 Vancouver Video games and 2014 Sochi Olympics, and in each instances he completed second to a slider with home-ice benefit. In 2018 he was fourth. Nonetheless, at age 37, he’s favored to lastly get his gold this yr.
Kimberley Bos of the Netherlands is favored within the ladies’s skeleton.
https://www.nytimes.com/article/luge-skeleton-olympics.html Luge on the Winter Olympics: What You Must Know