How is Luge a sport? What are the characteristics that make this fun activity considered an Olympic sport? Luge is a fast winter sport that includes athletes riding a sled down natural or artificial tracks. An athlete lies on his back in a supine position while riding the sled. Luge is also huge on timing whereby participating players lies down facing upward as they slide down at an incredible speed through an icy surface whilst riding on a flat sled.

Reasons why Luge is a Sport

how is luge a sport?
Source: Olympics
  1. Features in the Olympics

Luge is not just another random but a fast-paced that features in the Olympics. But this has not been the case, from 1883 to 1963 it was just sport with international completion, however in 1964 luge made its debut at Innsbruck where it featured divisions such as men, women, single and rely games and champions crowned jointly.

  1. Rules and regulations 

Like every other sports luge has its set of rules and regulations that its participating athletes abide religiously. However the rules and regulations are different across difference race and event. The men rules differs from women, so does single from.

  1. Playing surface

All sports are expected to be played on a specialize surface and this applies to luge. Luge is played on an extremely dangerous and icy surface. 

There are two types of icy tracks: natural and artificial tracks.

The natural track comprises of packed snow. Its slope is about 1.5 percent. The natural track can we made by anyone provided they have enough snow.

The artificial tracks is more steeper and has more bends. Its steep and bends allows sled to reach and even exceed 90 mph. The artificial tracks is use for most luge competition, including the Olympics.

  1. Equipment

Every sport has its distinct equipment that must be don before commencement and same applies to luge.

If you want to luge the tracks (natural or artificial) you would need a list of equipment as listed below.

  1. Booties

This is the name for a luge racing shoe. By design its made to be lightweight and aerodynamic, as it plays a role in movement and maneuvering.

  1. Face shield

The face shield is attached to the helmet, with advance properties that helps protect from crash and the chilling ice.

  1. Helmet

Made to protect athletes whilst gliding downward and in advent of a crash.

  1. Racing gloves

Made to protect from the cold temperate and its thin leather material give athletes a firm grip on the slid. 

  1. Racing suit

A complete body suit designed specially to reduce drag as the athletes slide downward. Also call speed suit as it aid movement along the ice.

  1. Sled

The most important equipment. The sled is designed in a way that helps it glide freely on the ice yet sensitive to the athletes maneuvering. The slid is designed in two form, the single (occupying an athlete) and double (occupying two). 

  1. Spikes

These are worn on the racing gloves. It helps the athletes propel the sled towards moving fasters (especially when the race just begin).

Gameplay

Like all sports, luge has a gameplay, a goal and requirements needed to declare a team winner and for luge its all about finishing the tracks in the fasting time.

Usually Luge involves both individual or group race, with athletes using their shoulders, thighs muscles and abdominal to control and maneuver the direction of the slid to finishing in the fastest time. Each individual in each team take turns with intention to beat the clock. The team with the overall fastest time is declared winner.

Conclusion 

Luge is an exotic sport that features in the Olympics, from face value the sport is easy since athletes just lay backward on the luge. But skin deep, luge like all sports requires discipline, training, ample exercise, tenacity, teamwork and sportsmanship.

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