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Grande Prairie to be the site of the first ever Natural Luge World Championship held in North America

-Athletes from more than 15 countries slated to compete February 16-19, 2007-Canadian sports fans will be treated to a thrilling opus that slides the fine line between high-speed adrenaline and crashing disaster when the Natural Track Luge World Championship makes its first ever stop on North American ice.
Over the Family Day long weekend, February 16-19, 2007, more than 150 athletes, coaches and officials will slide into Grande Prairie, located 450 km northwest of Edmonton, to crown natural luge world champions in the men’s, women’s and doubles disciplines. More than 15 nations will be represented, including traditional European luge powerhouses such as Germany, Austria and Italy, as well as our own Canadian athletes.
“We’re very proud to be hosting the first ever Natural Track Luge World Championship to be held in North America,” said Felix Seiler, host committee chairman from the Peace Country Luge Association. “We’re looking forward to hosting the world on the Family Day weekend with some exciting sport action and Canadian hospitality.”
The facility, which resembles a winding mountain road flooded with ice from top to bottom, is brand new and was tested for the first time last year during double World Cup races in Grande Prairie. The track, officially known as Canadian Tire Track at Nitehawk, is approximately one km long, four metres wide and meets all international standards set by the International Luge Federation.
“This is a great opportunity for our Canadian natural luge athletes to compete on their home track in Grande Prairie,” said Tim Farstad, executive director of the Canadian Luge Association. “Over the summer, national team member John Gibson has done a great job of improving Canadian Tire Track and its spectator areas in preparation for the world championships.”
All of which means spectators will be treated to the fastest sport on ice, with competitors employing a combination of lightning-fast coordination and keen wits to navigate the icy switchbacks at speeds up to 100 km/hour.
Natural luge tracks don’t contain the tubes and high-banked corners of their artificial cousins, meaning athletes use sleds with reins for additional steering control.
The Canadian Luge Association 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 www.luge.ca on the Internet.
For more information on the Peace Country Luge Association, the host body of the 2007 FIL Natural Track Luge World Championship, please visit www.peacecountryluge.ca on the Internet. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Bill Given at 780-814-0518.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Doug McIntyre
Media Relations, Canadian Luge Association
T: 403-247-5447
E-mail: qzpvagler@pbqn.pn


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