Luge

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A Luge (pronounced /ˈluːʒ/) is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine (face up) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners with the calf of each leg or exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat.

Lugers can reach speeds of 140 km per hour, and the Guinness World Record is held by Tony Benshoof of the United States at a speed of 139.9 km per hour although some athletes, including Sam Edney of Canada and Felix Loch of Germany have reached speeds exceeding 150 km per hour (95.68 mph) on the track in Whistler, Canada.

Luge is also the name of the sport which involves racing with such sleds. It is a competition in which these sleds race against a timer. The first recorded use of the term is 1905, from the Savoy/Swiss dialect of French "luge" meaning "small coasting sled", and is possibly from a Gaulish word with the same root as English sled.[1]

Contents

History

Luge, like the skeleton and the bobsleigh, originated in the health-spa town of St Moritz, Switzerland, in the mid-to-late 19th century, through the endeavours of hotel entrepreneur Caspar Badrutt. Badrutt successfully sold the idea of winter resorting, as well as rooms with food, drink, and activities. His more adventurous English guests began adapting delivery boys' sleds for recreation, which led to collisions with pedestrians as they sped down the lanes and alleys of the village.

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