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Sliding Toward Sochi

Vancouver Sun

Don’t blink. You might miss it, a human body that is, burning by at 87mph on a small sled, flirting with the law of physics.

It won’t just be anyone blazing by, but one of the best luger’s in the world, descending on Whistler this week for the Viessmann Luge World Cup.

“The Luge World Cup is the elite luge circuit in the world,” says Chris Dornan, Media Director for the Canadian Luge Association. “The fastest athletes on ice will head to Whistler for the fourth race on the World Cup which culminates with the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.”

For these competitors, there’s a lot riding on this pivotal weekend, as they vie for a spot on their respective Olympic teams. 20 different countries will be represented.

“Every race is a critical at this stage,” notes Dornan. “This will be the second to last race before Canada names its 2014 Olympic Team.” 

Over 100 athletes in skintight speed suits begin warming up their sleighs at Whistler’s Sliding Centre on December 2. The official competition is December 6 – 7.

“The Whistler Sliding Centre is one of the best tracks in the world,” says Dornan. It’s also notoriously the fastest. Down the slippery track, athletes will be flying solo, in tandem, and in much-anticipated relay teams.

While there will be many thrills on the track, there will also be plenty of excitement on the sidelines. The family-friendly World Cup is packed with spectator fun. Beyond eye-popping speed, there will be a beer garden, VIP tent, animations and a spectacular firework display. And it’s affordable! Only $10 (kiddos under 6 are free). 


If you miss this event, the lugers will be back for the World Championship (February 1 – 2). Feeling brave? You can try the track out yourself, too. Whistler Sliding Centre offers bobsleigh and skeleton runs to the public. 

“Athletes are sure to put on a good show,” Dornan says, so bring your cowbells, and bring your flags, because they thrive on support and noise!

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