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USLA launches Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign | Aug 21, 2014
2015 USA Luge Slider Search Looks for Funding Online at www.Indiegogo.com LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – USA Luge, the national governing body for the sport, is asking Americans to help fund a nationwide search via Indiegogo to find its next Olympic medalist, just like it did when it discovered Erin Hamlin in the USA Luge Slider Search in 1999. The Remsen, N.Y. native has gone on to become a World Champion, three-time Olympian, and in 2014 became the first American woman to win a medal in the sport, and the first United States athlete to medal in singles luge. “Unlike traditional sports like skiing, snowboarding, figure skating and hockey that can attract and identify young talented athletes through organized programs, we need to go out and find youngsters with the innate ability to succeed in luge,” explained Gordy Sheer, a three-time Olympic luger and the director of marketing and sponsorship for USA Luge. “Had we not staged the USA Luge Slider Search, Erin and 20 other USA Luge Olympians like her may never have had the opportunity to excel at the sport. We know that there are hundreds more kids like Erin that have the natural ability. We hope Americans will step up and help us find them.” From now through October 15, USA Luge is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $20,000 to fund the 2015 USA Luge Slider Search – a series of events all across the U.S. at which USA Luge can identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. People can donate to USA Luge and also get some great swag and unique experiences at Indiegogo including: Official USA Luge apparel ($25-$1,000); the opportunity to attend a USA Luge Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid ($5,000); a VIP package to the 2015 Luge World Cup in Lake Placid ($10,000); the chance to be an Honorary Captain of USA Luge for the 2015 World Cup ($25,000); and even the opportunity for your family name or corporate logo to adorn the USA Luge uniforms and sleds for the 2015 season ($100,000) as the team travels and competes internationally. The U.S. is the only country in the world whose governing bodies do not receive direct government funding and, as a result, is fully funded through the generous contributions of donors and the help of corporate sponsors. Last year, USA Luge’s first Indiegogo campaign raised $25,000 to help fund the team’s participation in the 2014 Olympics which resulted in the first American individual medal in the sport. The USA Luge Slider Search program has produced 20 Olympians since 1992 and nearly 90 percent of the current members of the USA Luge junior and national teams were identified through their participation in the Slider Search . But conducting the Slider Search costs money. USA Luge must transport wheeled sleds, safety equipment and the custom-designed start ramp from market to market across the nation. Coaches and athletes have to travel to and from the events. And once potential sliding athletes are named to the national team, USA Luge pays for all of their training and travel expenses. About USA Luge and The Slider Search The USA Luge Slider Search is the official nationwide athlete recruitment tour of USA Luge, targeting young athletes, ages 10-13. The mission of this grass-roots program, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Athletes who may progress through the seven-rung development ladder (Junior D Team, Junior C Team, Junior B Team, Junior National Team, National C Team, National B Team, National A Team) have hopes of one day becoming members of the National and Olympic luge teams. Over the years, the USA Luge Slider Search has traveled over 300,000 miles and introduced luge to more than 19,000 eager young athletes. At each series stop, guided by U.S. Olympic and National Team coaches and athletes, participants are taught the basics of riding a luge sled, including positioning, steering and stopping. Once these skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped luge sleds. Finally, athletes test their physical skills through a battery of fitness tests. USA Luge uses the Slider Search as its primary means of athlete recruitment. U.S. Luge athletes have captured over 600 international medals since 1994. Included in that total are silver and bronze medals during the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, bronze in the Sochi Winter Games, 26 World Cup victories, four overall World Cup doubles crowns, 18 Junior World Championship titles and 12 World Championship medals. For more information visit www.USALuge.org or www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-usa-luge-find-the-next-olympic-medalist to support the Indiegogo campaign.
USA Luge coming to Plattsburgh Sept. 6 with Slider Search recruitment tour | Aug 20, 2014
On First Weekend national team comes to Plattsburgh looking for more medal winners LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - After making stops in Queens, N.Y., Frederick, Md., Westmont, Ill., La Canada, Calif. and Utica, the USA Luge Slider Search rolls into Plattsburgh on Sept. 6 looking for more future Olympic medalists. The national organization, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., will host free recruitment clinics on Saturday evening, Sept. 6, on Bridge Street. Clinics will be held from 5-6:30 and 7-8:30. The wheeled luge clinics will be held in cooperation with the Plattsburgh Recreation Department and city officials during the city’s First Weekend celebration. Online registration is available at: www.usaluge.org/search “We appreciate the permission of the Plattsburgh City Council and the diligence of Steve Peters from the rec department to make this happen,” said USA Luge recruitment director Fred Zimny. “The kids always have lots of fun at our recruiting events, and their parents get a kick out of it, too. We hope to get lots of recruits and onlookers from the First Weekend event. And it’ll be a first for us as we bring in temporary lights for the two clinics.” The tour, incorporating sleds on wheels, is the same series that discovered Remsen, N.Y.’s Erin Hamlin in 1999 at the age of 12. The three-time Olympian and 2009 World Champion scored the first singles medal in USA Luge history in Sochi. Hamlin’s bronze medal was the fifth in team history. The recruitment clinic is for youngsters ages 10-13. Since the Slider Search was established in 1985, the sleds on wheels and portable ramp have traveled over 225,000 miles looking for youth that may one day climb the six-rung ladder to National Team status. From there, it’s on to the World Cup tour, the World Championships and ultimately, the Olympic Winter Games. In Plattsburgh athletes will be taught the basics of riding a luge sled, steering and stopping. Thereafter they will ride the sleds down a paved road, closed to traffic. A battery of fitness tests will conclude the sessions. In the fall, invitations will be extended to those youth who excelled in the clinics, and they will get an opportunity to try luge on ice this winter, at slower speeds, starting at the bottom of Lake Placid’s course at Mount Van Hoevenberg. They will be housed at the United States Olympic Committee’s Training Center, just a two minute walk from USA Luge headquarters in the two-time Olympic village. The top young athletes from the winter camps will be named to the 2015-2016 USA Luge Junior Development Team. Hamlin and Brian Martin followed this path to the Olympic podium. Martin, of Palo Alto, Calif., went on to win Olympic silver and bronze medals. Eight of the USA’s 10 Olympians in 2010 were found in this manner, while seven of 10 on the Sochi Olympic Team got their starts in the annual search on these wheeled sleds. The 90 minute clinics are free of charge. Each participant receives a souvenir tee shirt, courtesy of Pilot Chemical. Recommended attire is long pants and long-sleeved shirt (no baggy clothing). Mandatory helmets will be provided. The Slider Search is among the programs supported by the Citi Every Step of the Way® program which benefits the next generation of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across the country. The program supports U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs that inspired Team Citi athletes, including Hamlin, on their journeys from ambition to achievement. To learn more about the program, visit https://everystep.citi.com/ . U.S. Luge athletes have captured over 600 international medals since 1994. Included in that total are silver and bronze medals during the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, bronze in the Sochi Winter Games, 26 World Cup victories, four overall World Cup doubles crowns, 18 Junior World Championship titles and 12 World Championship medals. For more information and to register, please log on to http://usaluge.org/search , or call 1-800-USA-LUGE extension 105.
Open House/Public Sliding in Lake Placid Aug. 15 | Aug 7, 2014
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The United States Luge Association, headquartered at 57 Church Street in Lake Placid, will open its doors to the public on Friday, Aug.15 from 10 AM to 2 PM. This will be a chance to learn more about the fastest sport on ice, and take a few brief rides in the team’s refrigerated training center. The USA Luge coaching staff, made up of Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medalists, will be available to assist visitors and share their knowledge of the sport. USA Luge won its’ fifth Olympic medal at the Sochi Winter Games. Erin Hamlin’s bronze medal was the team’s first in singles luge; the Americans won two doubles medals in 1998 and repeated the feat in 2002. In addition, Hamlin was the first female in U.S. luge history to stand on the Olympic podium. Donations are suggested and attendees will receive a USA Luge team pin.
Audio from today's conference call with Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin | Aug 6, 2014
Please click here for the complete media call with Erin.
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