Luge at the Youth Olympic Games: What you need to know

The most precise sliding sport is coming to Lausanne 2020. After reaching the most breath-taking of speeds, Luge comes down to the finest of margins.

Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Lugers can clock speeds of up to 140km/h, but races can be won or lost by a millisecond, and that is what makes luge so gripping to watch.

At the Youth Olympic Games for Lausanne 2020, women’s doubles joins the programme for the very first time, joining men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles, and the team relay in the schedule.

The disciplines of luge

Luge has been an Olympic event since 1964, with a men’s, women’s and doubles event taking place at every Games before the team relay was added at Sochi 2014.

The singles events consist of two runs, with the fastest combined time winning.

That is also the case for the doubles, where intriguingly it is the heavier of the two athletes who lies on top of their team-mate for better aerodynamics.

The team relay consists of one women’s sled, one men’s sled and a double’s sled.

The team relay is exciting to watch as it uses a continuous clock. That means the next sled is only able to start its run once the rider before them has touched a pad at the finish line.

Luge Doubles
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

The finest of margins

In luge, every millisecond counts. Really. It is one of the most precisely timed Olympic sports, and that has led to some agonisingly close finishes over the years.

At Nagano 1998, Silke Kraushaar beat her German team-mate Barbara Niedernhuber to gold after finishing just 0.002 seconds following four runs.

More recently at Pyeongchang 2018, Germany’s Johannes Ludwig claimed bronze, with Dominik Fischnaller just 0.002 seconds behind.

Johannes Ludwig
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Luge at Lausanne 2020

Friday, January 17

08:30 - 10:30 - Women's Singles

11:00 - 12:30 - Men's Doubles

Saturday, January 18

08:30 - 10:30 - Men's Singles

11:00 - 12:30 - Women's Doubles

Monday, January 20

08:30 - 11:00 - Team Relay


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