|Birth Date:||September 8, 1963|
The Canadian Luge Association announced this summer that Wolfgang Staudinger (known as Staudi) will build on the years of hard work already invested in the program by Walter Corey in an effort to take the team to the next level.
Wolfgang brings a list of accomplishments, both as an athlete and coach with the German program, as long as the Calgary track. While sliding for Germany between 1978 and 1989, he claimed an Olympic bronze medal, won gold at the European Championships, bronze at the World Championships, and racked up numerous World Cup performances during his illustrious career.
After retiring in 1989, Staudinger moved to Canada to coach the national team for three years. His career as a coach has since taken off over the last 15 years. Staudinger is determined to bring his experience while working with some of the top luge athletes in the United States and Germany to guide the Canadian program to the podium.
"Canada has great potential in a strong base of athletes to work with in men and women's singles, and men's doubles," said Staudinger. "I believe that all the people involved with the Canadian program - from the executive board to the volunteers - are providing the fundamental stability and professional base to offer a great working environment for our team to excel."
Staudinger's short-term goal is to bring consistency to the team and establish a baseline on the equipment side, and begin to adopt some of the technology into the Canadian program that has made teams like the Germans so successful.
"I am not here to reinvent the wheel, but to build on the programs we already have in place," said Staudinger following his first two weeks of training with the team in Canada. "We've made some small changes to our training that are mostly unknown to luge athletes around the world that I believe will give us an advantage. As a coaching staff, we are going to deliver a high level of consistent instruction. We are not going to create miracles, but I'm confident we'll get to the top as a group."
Following the first training stint together, where Staudinger noted the Canadians athletic preparation is equal to or better than the Germans, the team was enthusiastic to learn, work harder and get faster.
Staudinger and his wife, Marie-Claude Doyon who won a World Cup bronze medal for the Canadian Luge Team in 1987, will return to Canada in August with their eight-year old daughter, Rebecca.