USA Luge announces Eberspacher World Cup return in December 2021
by Sandy Caligiore
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – USA Luge, in collaboration with the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority, will host an important World Cup weekend in late 2021. The Eberspacher tour will bring the world’s fastest athletes to Mount Van Hoevenberg December 4-5.
This will be the third stop of nine on the season, and carries the significance of Olympic qualification for all teams, including the United States. Luge nations, under the banner of the International Luge Federation (FIL), will each advance 10 competitors to Beijing in February, and use the tour to select their athletes. The American squad, led by 2018 Olympic silver medalist and local slider Chris Mazdzer, will be finalized after the seventh World Cup meet of the season, slated for Sigulda, Latvia in January.
The Lake Placid races mark a return to the Adirondacks as the coronavirus caused the 2020 event to be relocated to Germany where most of last year’s events were held. Now, as vaccinations begin to overtake the pandemic, a normal schedule has been created by the FIL.
It is anticipated that virtually every medalist from the Pyeongchang Games will tackle the demanding Lake Placid track. Defending gold medalist David Gleirscher of Austria will join Mazdzer in the field along with bronze medal winner Johannes Ludwig of Germany. His teammate and two-time Olympic champion Felix Loch, who won a world title in Lake Placid in 2009, will also be in the field. Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller, a threat every weekend who finished fourth in 2018, will be a challenger as will Russian standout Roman Repilov.
Top U.S. women Summer Britcher and Emily Sweeney will use home ice advantage against the likes of double Olympic gold medal winner Natalie Geisenberger, 2018 silver medalist Dajana Eitberger and World Cup champion Julia Taubitz, all of Germany. Britcher is USA Luge’s all-time winningest singles slider, while Sweeney captured the 2019 World Championship bronze medal.
Mazdzer will team with Jayson Terdiman in doubles. They anchored a 2020 World Championship bronze medal in the team relay. Both are now healthy after elbow and shoulder surgeries in recent off-seasons, and will look to track down the top doubles sleds from Germany, Austria, Latvia, Italy and Russia. Mazdzer is the lone competitor on the circuit competing in both disciplines.
The tour stop in Lake Placid will be a regional effort. Whistler, the 2010 Olympic course for the Vancouver Games, will host the second leg of the schedule one week prior to Lake Placid. Thereafter, the entire circuit will charter from Vancouver to Plattsburgh, N.Y. When the Lake Placid weekend concludes, the traveling luge circus will jet from Plattsburgh to Europe for the next two races.
As is the case with the entire season, luge fans will be able to watch via live stream and tentatively on NBC Sports Network pursuant to an agreement between USA Luge, NBC and the FIL. Global production, with viewership in the U.S., is made possible through financial support from I Love New York.
Detailed scheduling and ticket pricing for Lake Placid will be announced at a later date.