As hosts for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, the Olympic games have special meaning to Lake Placid. With Olympic training camps, Olympic facilities, and Olympic events happening at the sites of those Winter Games, Lake Placid has proven that it will always be an Olympic town. Bringing the family to see one of the many Lake Placid Olympic sites is a wonderful opportunity. The chance for children to try an Olympic sport is unusual in other towns, but not in Lake Placid.

Luge practice in Lake Placid

The US Luge Team has been offering free "Learn to Luge"clinics all summer. Each Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 pm, children 8-12 can receive a lesson on a wheeled luge. All new participants receive a free tee shirt. Beginners should bring a long sleeve shirt and sweatpants. All children are welcome to come back weekly.

There are a variety of coaches and team members strategically placed along the 300' section of paved road. The course has a slight downward slope that ends with an incline. The incline naturally slows down the luge sled mimicking a real luge track.

luge track wheeledThe luge track and sled reminds me of a mini amusement park ride. The difference is that the person steering and controlling the sled is in charge of her/his own speed and direction. My son takes a few practice runs andi s soon going downhill, steering through the cones. He still feels that biathlon is his sport. We watch a bit longer while 15-20 other kids of various ages start from the mobile starting ramp and swoop down the paved road. It is just as much fun to watch. The activity takes about an hour. 

The biweekly clinics take place in August at Recycling Circle Ln (the transfer station entrance) in Lake Placid. After Augus,t the Luge Clinics move to the Olympic Sports Complex and will be conducted on ice. There is no registration necessary but any questions can be answered by calling Fred Zimny, US Luge, 800-USA-LUGE ext. 105.

all photos and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time™. Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series and co-owner of the the young adult wilderness adventure program, Adirondack Outdoor Expeditions. 

Kids enjoy wheeled luge sleds