Luge Canada

Regan sliding toward 2002

Tom Brennan, Calgary SunGranted, there's certainly something to be said about having the ability to create news and then report on it.

You can't help, however, but be concerned, just a teeny, tiny bit about young Regan Lauscher.

Obviously, to willingly hurtle oneself feet-first, at terrifying speeds, down steep, twisting, ice-covered tracks on a rickety little sled, it is probably beneficial to have a mental screw that, if not loose, isn't quite bolted lock-tight.

But Ms. Lauscher? When not training and competing for Canada's national luge team, she's a student at Mount Royal College -- taking journalism. Studying to be a newshound! An occupation that has been known to attract those minus a faculty or three.

Luger and journalist? Girl's gotta be a LITTLE off-kilter!

"Some people mention that," smiles Lauscher, a 19-year-old who, in conversation, actually seems a level-headed kid.

"I just like to talk," she explains of her educational choice. "When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress ... that kind of fell through. But I always liked
watching the news. The media is such a crucial link, and there's so much to it."

There's a lot more to luge than meets the eye, too, and Lauscher is already earning more-than-passing grades.

Still junior-aged, she made her senior World Cup debut at Lillehammer a month ago and finished 16th in a field of 40. The Red Deer native followed it with 15th and 16th-place showings at Altenberg and Koenigsee in Germany.

She'd love to jump into the top 10 at this weekend's Viessmann World Cup stop on her home track at COP, but figures she'll probably be in the same range.

"But it's exciting, getting a chance to see how you size up," she offers. "And I'm curious to see how it's going to go here, with people out rooting for me."

Someday, she knows, she'll be on that podium.

"Right now I'm about 14th-15th, and that's with making mistakes," she says. "I think once I get over the nerves, get used to the cameras, and sitting in the start house with all the senior athletes, I'll be capable of doing a lot more."

Hopefully, it times out to coincide with the 2002 Olympics.

It's been a reasonably quick rise to this point, to hanging out with luge greats like Georg Hackl and Armin Zoeggeler, folks she describes as "great people."

And someday, with any luck, young racers may be saying the same about Regan.

Original>">Original article in Canoe>">Canoe Slam Winter Sports
Reprinted with permission from The Calgary Sun
Copyright (c) 1999 The Calgary Sun and Tom Brennan