American Duncan Kennedy Recruited to Provide Additional Coaching Support to Canada’s Luge Squad in New Era
CALGARY—Canada’s luge athletes received a boost of support in their continued pursuit of the international podium with the addition of three-time Olympian from the United States, Duncan Kennedy, to its roster of world-leading coaches, Luge Canada announced on Monday.
Kennedy, who is renowned for his technical expertise in the sport of luge, will share assistant coaching duties with Bernhard Glass. Wolfgang Staudinger, who has transformed the Canadian Luge program from participants into medal winners since taking over the reins of the program in 2007 will continue to guide a new generation of Canadian luge athletes towards Beijing 2022.
“Adding Duncan to our lineup of National Team coaches is a huge addition to the expertise we already have in our arsenal with Wolfgang and Bernhard,” said Sam Edney, who took over as high-performance manager of Luge Canada after celebrating an Olympic silver medal at the 2018 Games.
“Each of these coaches are proven performers who will offer optimal training and competition leadership for the athletes in our system. Together, they present the perfect mixture of experience, knowledge and wisdom in all facets of the game that is required to win.”
Kennedy is no stranger to the international luge coaching community or the podium. Following a standout career where he represented the United States at three Olympic Winter Games (1994, 1992, 1988), the most decorated athlete in U.S. luge history with 21 World Cup medals including the nation’s first ever victory took on head development coach responsibilities for the United State Luge Association (USLA) between 1997 and 2011. Kennedy then transitioned into the role of technical director from 2011-2014 where he was responsible for developing two Olympic medal-winning sleds.
“For me, it was a no-brainer to jump at this opportunity to join Luge Canada’s coaching staff and help lead this program of young athletes back to the international podium,” said Kennedy, who also finished in the top-three of the Overall World Cup standings three times throughout his illustrious career as an athlete. “The Canadian program has a rich history in luge, but when you see the drive of this young, talented and motivated team, it makes being a part of it that much more exciting.”
It will be a reconnection of sorts for Kennedy with Wolfgang Staudinger, who have a history dating back nearly four decades in the sport. In addition to competing against each other internationally, Staudinger also coached Kennedy with the American program.
“I have known Duncan since he was a little kid. Not only was he a very good athlete, he is a great coach who is very capable,” said Staudinger. “He brings a lot of knowledge into our program with his experience coaching internationally, as a mechanic and his track knowledge. He is going to make a big difference on our ability to lead this program – having another set of eyes on the track, sled preparation and delivering all that our athletes require from us. We all bring a great combination of skills and I am looking forward to working with him.”
A technical specialist, Kennedy has built Olympic level racing luge sleds and components for more than 12 countries while operating Kennedy Racing Sleds since 2017. He also has continued to provide coaching and technical support to a number of a world-class athletes during this time.
“Trust and chemistry are key ingredients to any successful program, and I’m excited and honoured to have the opportunity to be working with Wolfgang and Bernhard in helping Canada’s luge athletes achieve their performance goals in 2022 and beyond,” added Kennedy. “Wolfgang and Bernhard have done tremendous work in transforming this program which is now respected around the world. I am looking forward to adding my skillset to the fold and build on the work that has been done to take this team to the next level. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but with a strong plan in place, I know we will help our youngsters to continue to develop, and ultimately, win more medals well into the future.”
Kennedy will work with the team from his home in Lake Placid, New York. He officially begins his new role on June 1.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.