USA Luge needs to see you at the FIL Luge World Cup this week

It’s time to show support for our athletes on the USA Luge team this weekend by attending the Viessmann Luge World Cup on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

This is the fifth Viessmann World Cup of the season, and Lake Placid is honored to have one of these prestigious international events designated for the local track. There are only nine on the schedule before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in February on the new sliding track in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Lake Placid is not guaranteed a World Cup for luge every year, and in order to show the FIL this village deserves to continue hosting World Cup events, we need residents and visitors to support our athletes by cheering them on at the track.

On Friday, here is the schedule: 10 a.m., doubles; 12:40 p.m., men. The medal ceremony for these events will be held in the Medals Plaza at the track.

At the end of the first day, USA Luge will hold its third Running of the Balls benefit race in which more than 1,000 “adopted” lacrosse balls make their way down the nearly 1-mile course. Fans may enter as many balls as they’d like. The cost is $10 per ball or three balls for $25. USA Luge is selling tickets at Lake Placid retail outlets and at USA Luge headquarters at 57 Church St. in Lake Placid. Or people can register at Cash and prizes from USA Luge sponsors will be offered for the top 10 balls, as well as the last-place ball.

On Saturday, here is the schedule: 9:30 a.m., women; and 12:40 p.m., sprint. The medal ceremony for these events will be held in the Medals Plaza at the track.

One of the challenges USA Luge faces is attracting community support in the Olympic region, mainly from seeing crowds at their hometown events at the Olympic Sports Complex. These are our friends and neighbors at USA Luge putting athletes such as Erin Hamlin on the podium in the 2014 Winter Olympics. They deserve our support, especially this year when they gear up for the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Speaking of Olympics, USA Luge will unveil its picks for the 2018 Olympic team at the Lake Placid Conference Center Saturday evening, 10 athletes in all: three for women’s singles, three for men’s singles and two doubles teams.

This World Cup is your chance to cheer on the U.S. Olympic hopefuls and see the world’s top luge athletes. No matter which country they hail from, you are guaranteed to see the people who will be winning Olympic medals in February.

So, Lake Placid, let’s show support for all our Olympians and national governing bodies, particularly USA Luge, by attending the FIL Luge World Cup this weekend.

We look forward to the Olympic-style atmosphere and the familiar chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” This weekend, let’s make it “U-S-A LUGE! U-S-A LUGE!”