To the home of Irish Luge
2020/21 Season comes to an end
This season has been a challenging one for all of the athletes competing internationally, coping with the many restrictions put in place by the Covid Pandemic. However, this has not made it any less successful. Elsa Desmond finishes the season in 50th Place in the Wold cup standings and 43rd Place in the Nations cup standings, an impressive achievement along side her final year of medical school. As we look ahead to the Olympic season we are all very excited for what is to come.
Fil summer camp
In August senior athlete Elsa Desmond travelled to Poland to take part In the first FIL luge summer camp. A training camp run by the International Federation to support athletes from small nations. The main focus of the camp was start training, skills that will come in very useful In the coming winter.
Olympic Season commences
The 2021-22 luge season has begun. Senior athlete Elsa Desmond has begun her Olympic campaign with preseason training in Lillehammer, Norway. Junior athletes Sean and Calum will be traveling to Sigulda, Latvia, in the coming weeks to start their seasons. We wish all our athletes the best of luck this season and look forward to seeing how they progress.
Luge riders hurtle down a slippery ice track at great speed, relying on reflexes for steering. Unlike bobsleigh, however, they have no protection should they make an error.
Luge is the French word for “sledge” and, like bobsleigh, it was developed as a sport in Switzerland. Its roots go back to the 16th century, but it was not until 300 years later that the first luge tracks were built by Swiss hotel owners to cater for thrill-seeking tourists.
The first international race course was held in Davos in 1883, with competitors racing along an icy 4km road between Davos and the village of Klosters.
Luge is one of the oldest winter sports. It involves competitors lying on their backs on a tiny sled with their feet stretched out in front of them, and racing down an icy track at speeds in the range of 140 km/h, without brakes. As well as the singles, there is a pairs event, with the larger of the two team members lying on top for better aerodynamics.
It was not until 1955 that the first World Championship was organised, i.e. 41 years after the first European Championships. Nine years later, in 1964, luge made its Olympic debut, at the Innsbruck Games, with a mixed event, a men’s event and a women’s event. The programme has not changed since then. Since 1976, this sport has taken place on the same track as bobsleigh.
The discipline was dominated by the East Germans, who won 15 of the 21 gold medals available between 1964 and 1988. One of the undisputed masters of luge is a German: Georg Hackl, who won gold three times consecutively, in 1994 in Lillehammer, 1998 in Nagano and 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Based in Oldcastle Co. Meath, the Irish Luge federation was founded in 2020 to support Irish luge athletes on the world stage.