SCHENECTADY — Aspiring Olympians will have a chance to try out for the USA Luge Junior Development Team Saturday and Sunday in Central Park.
The event, called the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search, offers youths ages 9 to 13 a chance to show off their skills—as team recruiters watch—through a clinic using sleds on wheels, according to a prepared statement.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, with a second session from 2 to 5 p.m., on both days.
USA Luge Olympic Team officials and athletes will be at the clinic.
Registration is required and can be completed online or by phone at 1-800-USA-LUGE. The sessions are free, and everyone in attendance will receive an exclusive White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-shirt.
The mission of the grass-roots program, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the Junior Development Team. Athletes who 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—may one-day become members of the national and Olympic luge teams, according to a prepared statement.
Participants will be taught the basics of riding a luge sled at controlled speeds, including positioning, steering and stopping. Once those skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped luge sleds.
Finally, athletes will go through a battery of fitness tests. Those who show promise will be invited to Lake Placid or other USA Luge sanctioned training sites, with the top young athletes from those programs being selected for the next year’s development team, according to a prepared statement.