White Castle USA Luge Slider Search kicks off in May with COVID protocols still in place
by Sandy Caligiore
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The USA Luge off-season recruiting tour – the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search – will begin its national search for new talent on the weekend of May 15-16 in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon, Wis. The free clinics, for boys and girls 9-13 years of age, will be held on Centennial Street between South Ridge Road and Allied Street.
This year’s schedule, featuring sleds on wheels, will be conducted with COVID safety protocols in place. Clinics are scheduled daily from 9-11 AM, 12-2 PM and 3-5 PM. Attendees need only to participate in one session. In recent years, the USA Luge roster includes more youngsters from Wisconsin as a result of the slider searches in that state.
Subsequent sites in May have been secured in Duluth, Minn. and in White Castle’s home town of Columbus, Ohio. The Duluth location is on Junction Avenue from E. Niagara to W. College on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In Columbus, great sliders will be found at the Soap Box Derby Course at Big Run Park, 4205 Clime Road.
Other locations will be announced later in the spring.
These complimentary sessions include a White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-shirt for each participant. Pre-event registration is mandatory and can be completed by calling 1-800-USA-LUGE X 107 or log on to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Luge/SS-Registration-Form.
At all locations, the organization will deploy cleaning and sanitizing protocols that were instituted last summer. USA Luge’s five rings of safety protocols during the recruitment season will include:
1. A strict policy of social distancing (six feet at all times)
2. Wearing of face masks is mandatory
3. All sleds, helmets and registration items (pens, clip boards, tables, etc.) will be disinfected after each use with OSHA recommended cleaning products
4. USA Luge will provide hand sanitizer for all participants
5. Attendees are restricted to two adults per youth
“We’re very happy that White Castle is once again partnering with us to find more luge talent for our future teams,” said Gordy Sheer, Olympic silver medalist and Director of Marketing and Sponsorships. “And as we did last year, we have safety procedures to ensure that all will be safe, and will all get ample attention from the coaching staff.”
Once the participants master the ability to maneuver the sled in both directions, they will then slide from the White Castle USA Luge ramp onto the road surface to negotiate a shallow, gentle cone course.
Under the guidance of national team coaches, the event will give these youth an opportunity to learn luge and qualify to join the USA Luge Junior Development team. This is the first rung on the ladder to national and Olympic team status. Children selected from the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search will be invited to learn the sport on ice next winter in Lake Placid on the same track where national team athletes train and compete each season.
Over 250,000 youngsters have been introduced to luge in this program since its inception over 35 years ago.
An Olympic sport since 1964, luge consists of athletes sliding down a track of ice on sleds at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search clinics will have kids luging at much slower, more introductory speeds on the wheeled luge sleds. Participating “sliders” (a name given to luge athletes and the iconic White Castle burger) will ultimately be considered for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. The coaches guiding each clinic include National and Olympic team athletes, giving each young participant professional instruction and inspiration.
More information can be found at https://www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search, including the full schedule of summer and fall slider search locations. Additional sites will be added in the coming weeks.
About White Castle®
White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty sliders as a family-owned business for almost 100 years. Based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle started serving The Original Slider® in 1921. Today White Castle owns and operates more than 360 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customers’ cravings, morning, noon and night and sells its famous fare in retail stores nationwide. The Original Slider, named in 2014 as Time Magazine’s most influential burger of all time, is served alongside a menu of creatively crafted sliders and other mouthwatering food options, including White Castle’s Impossible™ Slider, named by Thrillist in 2019 as the “Best Plant-Based Fast Food Burger.” White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants, bakeries and frozen-food processing plants. White Castle is known for the legendary loyalty of its team members, more than one in four of whom have worked for White Castle for at least 10 years, and of its faithful fans, affectionately referred to as Cravers, many of whom compete each year for entry into the Cravers Hall of Fame. The official White Castle app, available at iTunes App Store or Google Play, makes it easy for Cravers to access sweet deals and place pick-up orders any time. They can also have their orders delivered using one of White Castle’s delivery partners. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.