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Jon Lundin | jlundin@orda.org | (518) 523-1655
December 01, 2015

Seven top 10 finishes for the U.S. Team Ahead of Lake Placid

World Cup Luge Racing Slated for Friday and Saturday in Lake Placid

BY: FIL, Sandy Caligiore & Jon Lundin, ORDA

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. --- The U.S. luge team returns home this week for the first of two Viessmann Luge World Cups on home soil following seven top 10 finishes to open the season in Igls, Austria. American athletes and sliders from 20 other nations are set to race Friday and Saturday, December 4-5, on the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex sliding track before traveling to Park City, Utah next week.




After a botched first run at the season opener in Innsbruck, the new U.S. pairing of Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk firmly positioned themselves among the doubles’ elite, posting the second heat’s fifth best time. The pair qualified for the World Cup event after winning the Nation’s Cup race on Friday.




Olympic bronze medallist Erin Hamlin was seventh in the series opener. She was second after her first run. Snow that fell during the race’s second heat may have prevented the 2009 World champion from claiming a podium finish on the 1976 Olympic track.




“I hope there are consistent weather conditions in Lake Placid,” said Hamlin, whose teammates Summer Britcher (fifth) and Emily Sweeney (sixth) finished just ahead of her.




The other top 10 finishers from the U.S. team in Tyrol were Tucker West in seventh place, Chris Mazdzer in the eighth place spot. The U.S. squad also grabbed a sixth place result in the team relay.




Tristan Jeskanen is the first Finn to compete in the Viessmann World Cup


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. --- Tristan Jeskanen is set to become the first-ever athlete from Finland to compete in the Viessmann World Cup, when he races in Friday’s men’s singles event in Lake Placid. As a rookie, the 19 year-old Jeskanen, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Finland, will compete in Thursday’s Nations Cup in an attempt to earn a place in the World Cup starting line-up.




Jeskanen began his career on the U.S. team as a doubles partner to Justin Krewson. The duo came eighth at the 2013 Junior World Championships in Park City, Utah and finished last season 11th in the final overall junior World Cup standing




The only other Finn in the FIL history books is Ray Lindfors who was 26th at the 16th FIL World Championships held in Königssee, Germany in 1974. The previous year, Lindfors was16th at the 20th FIL European Championships, which were also held in Königssee. His best World Championship finish came in 1975, when he and his doubles teammate, Bo Lindbergh, slid to a sixth place result in Hammarstrand, Sweden.




Alex Gough to miss Lake Placid




LAKE PLACID, N.Y. --- Canadian Alex Gough, who finished third at the season-opening Viessmann Luge World Cup in Igls, Austria, will not compete in Lake Placid, N.Y. or Park City, Utah. Instead, the 28 year-old will return home, to Calgary, and concentrate on her studies and return to the tour December 18-19, 2015.




“I’m now a full-time student at the University of Calgary in Civil Engineering,” Gough explains on her website. “And by full-time I mean I’m taking the minimum three courses, which, coincidently, is the maximum I can handle while training and competing.”




Canada’s head coach Wolfgang Staudinger describes the commitment of his star pupil, who finished fourth at the Sochi Olympics and is a two-time bronze medallist at the World Championships: “When other athletes head out to the Christmas market, Alex has her head buried in her books.”




Special training for German team in Lake Placid following last year’s anomaly




LAKE PLACID, N.Y. ---   Sixth, eighth, 14, 23 and 29. At first glance these may appear to be a selection of lottery numbers, but in reality they are the final positions of the German lugers at the last year’s Viessmann World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.




This results represented the German men’s most comprehensive defeat for many years and was an unprecedented anomaly for the number one luge nation, which had filled the top three positions in the overall standings of the men’s Viessmann Luge World Cup in winter 2012-’13.




Unusual situations require unusual actions, so the German Federation (BSD) staged one of its five selection races for the new 2015-‘16 season in Lake Placid. Seven German sliders made the trip to Lake Placid’s demanding Mount Van Hoevenberg track for several days of training before racing.




“The reason for training in Lake Placid was simply that the men face a much more difficult driving challenge than in the women’s and men’s doubles event due to their higher starting position,” explained head coach Norbert Loch. “So our men wanted to undertake more painstaking preparations for this challenging track in North America.”




The acid test will come during the men’s event this Friday, December 4, when the Viessmann World Cup returns to the 20-curve, one-mile long Mount Van Hoevenberg course.






Local time


4 December 2015

1st run, doubles




2nd run, doubles




1st run, men’s singles




2nd run, men’s singles



5 December 2015

1st run, women’s singles




2nd run, women’s singles




Team relay






Lake Placid to host the 64th Conference of the International Luge Federation (FIL) in 2016




LAKE PLACID, N.Y. --- The two-time Olympic venue of Lake Placid is set to host the 64th Conference of the International Luge Federation (FIL) next year. On June 17-18, 2016, FIL delegates will meet in the town which hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1980.




The name of Lake Placid is associated closely with the history of the FIL. In 1983 it hosted the first ever FIL World Championships to be held outside of Europe, and it was once again host to the championships in 2009. The artificial track on Mount Van Hoevenberg, built for the first and only Goodwill Games held in Lake Placid in 2000, will showcase a Viessmann World Cup for the 14th time in 2015.




2014 winners: Natalie Geisenberger, Tucker West and Eggert/Benecken




LAKE PLACID, N.Y. ---  During last winter’s Viessmann World Cup in Lake Placid, American Tucker West captured the United States’ first men’s singles World Cup gold medal in 17 years. The last American man to win a luge World Cup race was Wendel Suckow, who won the pre-Olympic test competition in Nagano, Japan in 1997, which was also the World Cup finale.




In addition to West, Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger and her teammates, the doubles pairing of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were each winners in Lake Placid. Germany also won the team competition (Geisenberger, Felix Loch, Eggert and Benecken) ahead of Italy’s second place team (Sandra Robatscher, Dominik Fischnaller and Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber) and the host and bronze medal team from the United States featuring Erin Hamlin, West and Matthew Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman.




Images from last winter’s Viessmann Luge World Cup in Lake Placid can he found HERE. Photos courtesy of ORDA/ Whiteface Lake Placid




-- ORDA --

Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA operates Whiteface, Belleayre and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speed skating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena. As host to international and national championships, the Authority has brought millions of athletes, spectator and participants to the region, resulting in significant economic development.




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