Everything You’d Need to Learn to Root for Ridgefield’s Tucker West at the Olympics
I don't think it's a reach to say most people don't know a lot about the luge.
I believe this to be true for most of the people in the Greater Danbury area, but I think we should all be part-time fans of the Winter Olympics sport. We should educate ourselves on the luge for no other reason but to support Ridgefield's Tucker West.
Tucker West is a 26-year-old Olympic athlete who will represent the United States in the luge at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. According the Team USA's official website, West has won 10 World Cup Medals in his career and he will take his experience when he begins competition on Saturday Morning.
We wanted to have some background on the man and the sport before the Olympics began. If we are going to be fans, we're going to do this right so we went on a fact finding mission. I learned that luge competitors can do 130 km/hour or around 80 mph. The luge is accomplished while lying face-up (supine position) on a small sled that whips through a "predefined" course. The person who has the shortest time through the course is the winner.
While the luge looks dangerous, most people probably see the the event on TV and think they could do that, but you cannot. These are highly trained, finely tuned athletes that use their shoulders and calves to make precise turns through the course at just the right moment.
As Tucker navigates the course, he'll be facing top-notch competitors like Felix Loch of Germany. Loch and his fellow German Johannes Ludwig are the favored athletes in the men's luge at the 2022 Olympics according to the AP.
The topic carried on for awhile and was contagious for the listeners who were sharing helpful nuggets of information of their own. We wondered where in Ridgefield did Tucker learn his craft? Danny from Ridgefield and Gina from Brookfield both texted the app to share that Tucker's father built him a luge track in his backyard when he was a kid and that story checks out.
There were more texts about the luge that were difficult to verify, like:
DWag from Mahopac said:
"In the tandem luge, the second man puts his boot into the front steering area."
Captain Spaulding wrote:
"LITTLE KNOWN LUGE FACT: In order to insure that the two lugers arrive at the finish line together the bottom man licks the helmet of the top guy until his tongue gets stuck to it!!"