Luge is an Olympic sport where players race downwards in a high-banked track that is icy. It is a dangerous sport since players usually go on a speed of 140 kilometers per hour or 90 miles per hour.
Luge is a French term that means â€œsled’. It was in 1948 when Luge became an official sport at the Olympics. The slider or the luge faces down along a fiberglass sled and has no braking mechanism. The players lie on the sled with their heads first-facing-down style.
There are two tracks that can be used for this sportâ€”the natural and the artificial.
The natural track sled or luge is also known as naturbahn and is composed of ice and snow. Players using this track experience an elevation of 1.5 feet for every 100 feet of the naturbahn. The sled and the player may experience speed of up to 80 kilometer per hour or 50 miles per hour.
An artificial track is used for Olympic Games and this is called kunstbahn. This track is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, in the 1964 Olympic Games, a player died on the track two weeks before the games started while practicing on the track.
A player using the artificial track can go up to the speed of 90 miles per hour, and as such, many luge players suffer from major injuries.
Creating an artificial track is no easy feat as it requires many technology and big structures. In fact, there are less than two dozens of artificial tracks for luge in the world.
The luge track used for Olympic Games are refrigerated artificially.
Luge players must have a racing suit, boots, gloves, helmet, and of course the sled. All the equipments for this sport are designed with minimal friction, top speed and aerodynamics in mind.