Luge

Short History

     The sport of luge is one of the oldest winter sports, but the origins as a modern sport, are relatively recent. Its foundation began, like the skeleton and bobsleigh when hotelier Caspar Badrutt convinced some English regulars to remain through the entire winter at his hotel in the mineral spa town of St. Moritz, Switzerland. In the early 1870s some adventurous English guests began adapting boys' delivery sleds for recreational purposes. However, they soon began colliding with pedestrians in the icy lanes, alleyways and roads of St Moritz. The first international race course was held in Davos in 1883, with competitors racing along an icy 4km road between Davos and the village of Klosters.
     In 1913, the International Sled Sports Federation was founded in Dresden, Germany, and in 1914 men’s singles and doubles races were conducted at the first European Championships. This body governed the sport until 1935, when it was incorporated in FIBT, International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation. In 1957, the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (FIL, International Luge Federation) was founded. The first World Championships were held in 1955 in Oslo, Norway. In 1964, luge made its Olympic debut at the Innsbruck Games, with a mixed event, a men’s event and a women’s event. Since 1976, this sport has taken place on the same track as bobsleigh.

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