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CANADIAN LUGE TEAM TO GIVE AWAY HOTTEST CHRISTMAS ITEM –SONY PLAYSTATION 3– AT CALGARY WORLD CUP

—International festival to include free bands, Playstation, and luge rides at C.O.P. —Canada’s elite luge athletes will be in a giving mood when they challenge the world’s best on their home track this week at the Viessmann Luge World Cup in Calgary. The Canadian Luge Team will be giving away this year’s hottest Christmas item – a Sony Playstation 3 – to one lucky spectator at the Luge World Cup, December 8-9, 2006 at CODA’s Canada Olympic Park.

In an effort to draw more spectators to this unique, and thrilling Olympic sport, the Canadian Luge Association will be holding a draw for the hottest new-craze in the video game world in the Event Tent, near the finish area, during the awards ceremony following competition, December 9. Spectators to the Luge World Cup, on Friday or Saturday, will be able to fill out a ballot that will enter them in the free draw to win the grand prize. Ballots can be picked up in the Event Tent, Daylodge at Canada Olympic Park or at the Olympic Track.

“We are committed to introducing a new generation of luge fans to our sport, and we feel this is a unique opportunity to draw additional people to the track to help cheer on our national team to gold,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Canadian Luge Association. “These races are broadcast live to Europe, and luge in Germany on Saturday, is no different than Hockey Night in Canada at home. We hope that by creating this festival-like atmosphere, we can showcase our sport to new audiences and give our athletes the extra support needed to achieve excellence and get back onto the World Cup podium.”

While the grand prize is attractive, spectators at the event will also have the opportunity to: meet athletes and challenge their Sony Playstation skills on the big screens in the Tent while participating in the Torino 2006 Olympic Luge Challenge; try the sport of luge by taking advantage of the free rides available in the Ice House; and enjoy the weekend-long entertainment that will be provided by three of Calgary’s top local bands: The Plaid Tongued Devils; The Black Coffee Cowboys; and Bluessmyth.

Improvements have also been made to watch the races on-site. Near the 360-degree Kreisel turn, where spectators can watch the athletes reach their highest speeds up to 120 km/h, the Calgary Luge Club will be running a hot chocolate and coffee stand, where a jumbotron will be stationed to enable everyone to follow all of the action from top-to-bottom. The novice luge club will also be selling 50/50 tickets.

The field will be as stellar as the fun and entertainment. Nearly 100 of the best luge athletes in the world will represent 17 countries on the track at CODA’s Canada Olympic Park. Canada’s luge team, who all remained in tack after competing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, are poised to challenge for the World Cup podium each race.

“For the first time ever we welcomed back our complete Olympic team for the World Cup, and that is a significant competitive advantage in developing a team that will compete for the medals,” said Farstad. “For many of our team members, Torino was their first Olympic Games, and we are looking to build on that experience over the next four years so we are fully prepared, and ready to contend for the nation’s first Olympic luge medal in Vancouver. The World Cup this week will be the next major step in this journey.”

Canada will field six men’s singles, four women’s singles and three doubles sleds at home in Calgary. Olympic rookies and Calgarians, Jeff Christie, Sam Edney, and Ian Cockerline will lead the charge for the men’s team, while World Cup silver medallist, Regan Lauscher, and her 2006 Olympic teammates, Alex Gough and Meaghan Simister, will be looking to upstage the dominant Germans in women’s singles. The greatest amount of experience for the Canadians is on the men’s doubles sleds, with the two senior sleds having two Olympic Games and numerous World Cup events under their belts. Brothers, Chris and Mike Moffat, will join forces with Eric Pothier and Grant Albrecht to complete the Canadian charge.

Competing at home also opens additional spots for the Canada’s development athletes. Matt McMurray, Nick Olson, Mike Jepson, Marshall Savill, Aaron Christensen, and Anna Burger-Martindale will also wear the maple leaf in Calgary.

The 2006 Viessmann Luge World Cup races take place on Friday, December 8, starting with the doubles race at 5 p.m., followed by the women’s race at 7 p.m. The men’s singles race will commence at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 9.

For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Chris Dornan
Director of Communications, CODA
T: 403-247-5423
C: 403-470-9546