USA Luge gets 1st run of the season on Lake Placid track

For USA Luge, the Olympic season is here

For USA Luge, the Olympic season is here.

The team’s training track in Lake Placid, New York, opened on Thursday, with two-time Olympic luge qualifier Tucker West earning the distinction of taking the first official ice chute descent at Mount Van Hoevenberg .

It’s unusually hot in the Adirondack Mountains this week, which means the sliding conditions are far from ideal and it took extra work for the track team to complete Thursday’s practice runs. But the importance of being the first slider on the track was not lost on West.

“The first home run is always fun,” West said. “I hold Lake Placid very close and dear to my heart. I always do well here, and it’s special to have this first run. It’s good. You hope and pray that they remove all the shovels from the trail, and they did, so it was good. “

“They have thought of every detail of this track,” US skeleton athlete John Daly said from China on Thursday. “I don’t think they missed anything. The track will be tricky and will make the Olympic Games exciting. “

There are already concerns. Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer has undergone surgery to fix a broken foot – an injury he suffered in Russia – and it’s unclear when he’ll be back on the ice. Mazdzer competes in singles and doubles, so his absence also means America’s top doubles sled, along with partner Jayson Terdiman, is off the ice as well. And women’s Olympic hopeful Brittney Arndt suffered a concussion in a training accident earlier this month.

“It’s hard to see all of these problems happening to these people,” West said. “But they’re all very empowered people and I know they will come out stronger even through problems. Obviously you worry about them and try to help them in any way you can, but I know they will get away with it. “

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