Luge Canada

Canadian Luge Association Takes the Lead in Staging Spectator-Friendly World Cup Event
-European party atmosphere

Media AdvisoryThe 2003 Viessmann Luge World Cup returns to CODA's Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, December 5-6, amidst a European festival aimed at bringing a new generation of luge fans to watch Canada's best athletes sliding for gold.

The races, which are free and open to the public, will feature a festival tent with a live German band where fans can enjoy a beer and bratwurst for only one dollar. Children at the event can purchase a pop and hot dog also for one dollar. For those who want to get in on the action, there will also be free luge rides in CODA's Ice House, ages 10 and older. All visitors to this year's Luge World Cup events can also enter a draw to win an Olympic prize pack including merchandise from Karbon, a sponsor of the Canadian Luge Team, and an Ultimate Olympic Experience at C.O.P. for 10 people.

Improvements have also been made to watch the races on-site. Inside the 360 degree Kreisel turn, where spectators can watch the athletes reach their highest speeds up to 120 km/hour, will be a concession tent and jumbotron to follow all the action from top to bottom.

"This race is broadcast live to Europe, and luge in Germany on Saturday, is like Hockey Night in Canada at home," said Jack MacDonald, president, Canadian Luge Association. "We hope that by creating this festival-like atmosphere, we can showcase the sport to a new audience in Canada, and give our athletes the extra support needed to achieve excellence. It promises to be one of the most entertaining World Cup events to hit Calgary since the 1988 Games."

The field will be as stellar as the entertainment. More than 100 of the best luge athletes in the world will represent 24 countries on the track at Canada Olympic Park. Canada's luge team is the youngest in the world and continues to improve after the season's first two race events in Europe.

The maple leaf will be worn by 13 athletes on their home track including Calgarians Sam Edney and Jeff Christie, who finished first and second overall respectively on last year's Junior World Cup circuit. Regan Lauscher of Red Deer, Alta., who will compete in her first World Cup event of the year, will join rookie teammate Meaghan Simister of Regina in women's singles. Simister is climbing her way up the senior ranks after posting a top-15 finish last week in Altenberg, Germany. Grant Albrecht of Red Deer, Alta. and Eric Pothier of Airdrie, Alta will lead the Canadian team in men's doubles. Albrecht and Pothier finished fourth during last year's World Cup in Calgary.

The Viessmann Luge World Cup events will take place on Friday, December 5, starting with the Nation's Cup competition at 12 noon, followed by the team and men's singles events at 3 p.m. The men's doubles and women's events will commence at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 6.

MEDIA: There will be a media centre in the Bob Niven Training Centre on December 5-6, 2003. Media accreditation can be obtained by visiting the media centre. The satellite coordinates to receive video feeds will be available on December 4.

The Canadian Luge Associaton is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. In partnership with CODA, the Canadian Luge Association operates the Olympic Luge Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, which develops our nation's high-performance luge athletes and promotes the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at on the Internet.

- 30 -