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Canadian Luge Association Bolsters Coaching Staff with New German Recruit

Olympic champion, Bernhard Glass, brings German expertise to Canadian squad

CALGARY—Canadas high-performance luge athletes have a new weapon heading into the next Olympic cycle, thanks to the recruitment of German Olympic and World Champion, Bernhard Glass, as assistant coach of the World Cup team.

Glass, who has collected Olympic and World Championship gold medals both as an athlete and coach of the world-dominant German Luge Team, reunites with countryman Wolfgang Staudinger on the road to leading Canada to its first Olympic medal in the sport.

The Canadian luge program has made significant progress under the leadership of Wolfgang Staudinger, to where we are now regular contenders with the worlds elite, said Tim Farstad, executive director, Canadian Luge Association. Adding Bernhard to our world-leading mix of coaches will close the gap between where we stand today and reaching our goal of climbing onto the podium with the leading nations in our sport.

As an athlete, the now 43-year-old Glass was a mainstay on the international podium during his 13-year career, and captured Olympic and World Championship gold in mens singles luge during the 1980 season. Glass was even more successful as a coach, developing more than one dozen athletes who went on to become Olympic medallists  including Silke Krausshaar, Tatjana Huefner, David Moeller, Andre Florschuetz, and Torsten Wustlich in luge; and many lugers who found success in bobsleigh, including legends in the sport Andre Lange, Sandra Kiriasis, and Claudia Schramm.

Medals in luge are won and lost in thousandths of a second; that time can be made up through sled technology, proper sled set-up, and plain old track experience, said Farstad. The Germans have dominated the sport thanks to their access and expertise in technology and knowledge of the tracks for decades. The recruitment of a winning coaching staff like Glass and Staudinger is a key component within our strategy of building the Canadian program so we too can climb onto the international podium.

Since Staudinger was hired in 2007, Canadas luge athletes have become regular contenders in international competition with consistent top-15 finishes and numerous World Cup team podium finishes in addition to posting a record-setting Olympic performance in 2010.

Ongoing funding from Own the Podium has supported the Canadian Luge Associations coaching recruitment.

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 its title sponsor, Fast Track Capital, along with the support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nations 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.

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