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Sports

Luge

Alex Gough in her red and black Team Canada outfit zooms down the icy luge track.
Alex Gough of Canada slides during the women's singles luge run during PyeongChang 2018. (Alexander Hasselstein/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Imagine a sled shaped like a kickboard, but made of steel with two big blades. Now imagine yourself lying down on it and going super fast! If you're thinking "Yeah, that sounds pretty doable. Might be kind of cool!” then you should check out luge.

How it's played

Things to watch for

Italy's Andrea Voetter competes in the women's singles luge at PyeongChang 2018. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)
Italy's Andrea Voetter competes in the women's singles luge at PyeongChang 2018. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Pointy toes

  • Lugers need to keep their toes pointed throughout the race.
  • They wear special boots that help keep their feet and legs locked in a straight position.
South Korea's Park Jingyong and Cho Jung Myung compete in the doubles luge run at PyeongChang 2018. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)
South Korea's Park Jingyong and Cho Jung Myung compete in the doubles luge run at PyeongChang 2018. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Double athletes

  • Doubles luge has two athletes on the same specially-designed sled.
  • The heavier athlete lies on top of their partner to help the air move smoothly across their bodies for speed.
  • The athlete on top can steer the sled with their calves.
Natalie Geisenberger of Germany slides during the women's single luge at PyeongChang 2018. (Alexander Hasselstein/Getty Images)
Natalie Geisenberger of Germany slides during the women's single luge at PyeongChang 2018. (Alexander Hasselstein/Getty Images)

Steel runners

  • The parts of the luge that curl up at the front are called runners.
  • Athletes can use their calves to push on them to help steer the sled.
Action packed facts.
  • Luge started in Switzerland and it's one of the oldest winter sports.

  • One way to cheat in luge is by heating the steel blades before the run — it reduces the friction on the ice and makes the luge go faster.

  • In doubles luge, the lighter athlete lies on top of the heavier one so that air can flow better over their bodies.

  • Athletes that compete in luge are called lugers.

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