USA Luge Slider Search Set to Begin
by USA Luge
White Castle USA Luge Slider Search Set to Kick Off
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search, using sleds on wheels in the summer and fall to find future national team members and Olympians, will begin in Mid-May. The dates and locations thus far include:
Columbus, Ohio - May 13-14
Ashwaubenon/Green Bay area - May 20-21
Malvern, Pa. - May 27-28
Eligible youth ages 9-13 can participate in one of the primary recruitment events from 9 AM to 11 AM, 12 PM to 2 PM or 3 PM to 5 PM. More summer and fall events will be added as the year progresses.
White Castle, the nation’s first fast food chain, is a USA Luge sponsor and has been the exclusive sponsor of Slider Search since 2017. The sessions are free, and everyone receives a cool White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-Shirt to attend.
For more information and a registration link, please log on to SliderSearch.
Established in 1985, the mission of this grass-roots program is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Athletes who may progress through the six-rung development ladder (Junior Development Team, Junior Team Candidate Select, Junior Team Candidate, Junior National Team Select, Junior National Team, National Team Select) have hopes of one-day becoming members of the National and Olympic Luge Teams.
Over the years, the USA Luge Slider Search has traveled more than 225,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 20,000 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 at controlled speeds, 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 if time allows. Those who show promise in the summer program are invited to Lake Placid, N.Y. or Park City, Utah to try luge on ice at a USA Luge sanctioned training site. The top young athletes from this group are selected for next year’s development team.
Most of the current U.S. Junior National Team was recruited through the USA Luge Slider Search, so it is no wonder the coaching staff feels future National and Olympic Teams will come from this recruiting program. Slider Search graduates include Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and four-time World Championship medal winner, who was identified in a 1999 Slider Search, while Brian Martin, a 1998 Olympic bronze and 2002 Olympic silver medalist, was discovered at a Slider Search in 1987. Eight members of USA Luge's 2010 Olympic team, six athletes from the 2014 U.S. Olympic Luge Team, six sliders from the 2018 Olympic squad and four from the recent Beijing team were graduates of the search.