Kicking off the action at the Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang will be the daring sport of Luge, with the world’s top athletes all vying for the title of Olympic champion.
The 2018 Games will see athletes contest four disciplines; men’s individual, women’s individual, doubles and the team relay, with Australia hopefully being represented in the men’s individual event as done at the Sochi Olympics.
At the 2014 Games, Germany claimed all four luge gold medals: men’s, women’s, doubles and team relay. Going back to the days of when the nation was split into east and west, Germany has dominated the sport of luge throughout Olympic history, securing 31 luge gold medals, while all other nations combined have 13.
Australians to Watch: Townsville native, Alex Ferlazzo will be hoping to make his second Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang Games after the now 22-year-old made his debut at the Sochi 2014 Games.
At just 18-years-old in Sochi, Ferlazzo finished a credible 33rd of 39 sleds, up against much older, stronger and more experienced athletes. Later that year, Ferlazzo made history by winning gold at the Junior Worlds in Canada, Australia's first luge medal at this level.
Qualification, Nomination & Selection
Australia will be aiming to qualify 1 man in Luge at PyeongChang 2018. Qualification will be based on being placed in the top 37 of FIL Olympic Season World Cup Ranking List during the 2017 qualification period, which will be finalised by 31 December 2017. For the full details on qualification click here>>>
If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>
Competition Format & Events
The sport of luge involves competitors propelling the luge forward, at the start in a sitting position gathering speed by paddling their hands on the ice track, and then lying back to wind their way down through the corners.
There are four gold medals decided for luge: singles for men, singles for women, doubles for men and a mixed team relay. Singles competitions are decided on the aggregate time of four runs over two consecutive days, while doubles luge is a one-day competition of two runs.
In the team event, each country fields a men’s singles sled, a doubles sled and a women’s singles sled. All three entrants from one team slide one after another with the clock stopping only after the third sled has crossed the finish line. A touch pad at the finish line must be activated by an athlete in one sled before the gate at the start line opens for the following team member to compete. The luge team relay made its first appearance in January 2012 at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and will be in the Olympics for the first time in Sochi 2014.
In all events, each run counts, and the fastest total time determines the winner.
Luge is one of two sports at the Winter Olympics (along with short track speed skating) that is timed to the thousandth of a second.
Australia and Olympic Luge
Three Australians have competed at the Olympic Games in luge. Diana Ogle was the first Australian to represent her country in this sport. She competed at Albertville 1992 and flew down the track to place 21st from 24 contenders. At the following Olympics, Roger White became the first male to represent Australia, placing 32nd at Lillehammer 1994.
It was another 12 years before Hannah Campbell-Pegg took to the track, finishing 23rd at Torino in 2006. When she competed in Vancouver four years later, she became Australia’s first luge dual-Olympian, also finishing 23rd. In 2014, Alex Ferlazzo became Australia’s fifth luge representative.
Pre-PyeongChang AUS Tally
6 (Days 1-6)
Olympic Sliding Centre
- Medal Events
4 (4 gold, 4 silver & 4 bronze)
- Total Athletes
110 (40 men, 30 women, 20 teams (40 people))