Home News Germany, again, will be the team to catch in Olympic luge

Germany, again, will be the team to catch in Olympic luge

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Posted 3:10 p.m. ET Jan. 10, 2018

There is some kind of mystical power when it will come to Germany and luge.

Germany has more sliding tracks than any other country, as well as usually seems to be in advance of the relaxation of the environment when it will come to engineering and any other innovation that can be utilized to get a sled down the ice faster than anybody else.

Nowhere has that dominance been on screen than the Olympics.

There have been 6 nations with an Olympic gold medal in luge. Germany, East Germany and West Germany have combined for 31 golds in Olympic luge functions, although the relaxation of the environment has 13. Italy has seven, Austria five and the Soviet Union gained a single.

“We are usually beneath stress,” German doubles star Sascha Benecken mentioned. “But the stress we put on ourselves is a lot more durable.”

United states Luge has manufactured great strides in current years, and will come into these Olympics bolstered by Erin Hamlin’s bronze medal at the Sochi Games four years in the past. The doubles crew of Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman could be in the medal combine as nicely, and men’s sliders Tucker West and Chris Mazdzer have experienced loads of finishes that display they can compete with anybody.

Austria, Italy, Canada and Latvia need to also contend for medals. The wild card would be the lugers from Russia, some of whom have outcomes that recommend they would be medal contenders — if permitted to compete. Russia will not have a crew at these Olympics mainly because of the doping fallout from the Sochi Games, nevertheless some athletes from that country will be allowed to be in Pyeongchang beneath the Olympic flag.

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Here is some of what to know going into luge at the Pyeongchang Games:

MEDAL FAVORITES

In men’s luge, Germany, where by Felix Loch is going for a third straight get. In women’s luge, Germany, where by Natalie Geisenberger will request repeat gold. In doubles luge, Germany once again. And in the crew relay, let’s say Germany. Place it this way: If any other national anthem gets performed to commemorate a gold medalist after a luge race in Pyeongchang, it truly is going to be termed an upset.

Finest RIVALRY

There was a time not very long in the past, where by the ideal rivalry in the activity almost certainly was the just about every-race-weekend battle between Geisenberger and Tatjana Huefner. From the very same place, they had been coached individually and experienced distinctly distinctive variations. Their relationship seems to be nowhere in close proximity to as frosty now, but the rivalry will be true once again in South Korea.

Rising STARS

Summertime Britcher is in her 2nd Olympics, Emily Sweeney her 1st, but neither is new to the environment stage and the two American females could be in the medal hunt if they prevent a large error. If allowed to compete, Russia’s Roman Repilov may well be the newcomer to look at on the men’s aspect. Only 21, he is previously gained a Planet Cup general title. Relatively or unfairly, mainly because of Russia’s background, there’s no scarcity of skepticism about his quick rise.

NEW Period

For the 1st time given that 1984, the Olympic men’s luge medalists will not include things like possibly Germany’s Georg Hackl or Italy’s Armin Zoeggeler. Hackl gained silver in 1988, gold in 1992, 1994 and 1998, then silver once again in 2002. Zoeggeler gained bronze in 1994, silver in 1998, gold in 2002 and 2006, bronze in 2010 and completed third in 2014 (nevertheless that will finally be upgraded to silver mainly because Albert Demchenko’s medal was stripped as aspect of the Russia doping scandal). Hackl and Zoeggeler now are coaches for their respective nations.

RULE Variations

The only distinction in Olympic level of competition from Planet Cup racing is in men’s and women’s singles, where by the occasion is four runs over two times as an alternative of the customary two-warmth, a single-day format. Doubles is nevertheless a two-operate, a single-day race, and the crew relay format also is unchanged from the Planet Cup norm.

Really don’t Pass up

2014 bronze medalist Erin Hamlin of the U.S. closes her occupation on Feb. 13, when the women’s luge level of competition concludes. She is retiring after two decades of sliding.

OLYMPIAN Energy

Aileen Frisch utilized to compete for Germany, and retired a few years in the past but is now back with an uncommon tale. She’s most likely to compete in these Olympics for South Korea. The host country, which would not have a storied luge background, made available her a passport with hopes of bolstering its sliding profile. Frisch experienced for numerous weeks after sustaining a foot and leg injuries previously this year.

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Far more AP Olympics: https://wintergames.ap.org

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