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Luge World Cup schedule includes Lake Placid

Chris Mazdzer, right, and Jayson Terdiman celebrate their silver medal-winning doubles run at last year’s World Cup luge event in Lake Placid. (Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — The International Luge Federation (FIL) announced its World Cup racing schedule for the upcoming winter, and it includes a Thanksgiving weekend stop in Lake Placid.

The FIL finalized the schedule for the 2019-20 Viessmann Luge World Cup will start off in Innsbruck-Igls, Austria on Nov. 23, followed by two days of sliding at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

The US National Team of Summer Britcher, Emily Sweeney, Rachel Germain, Brittney Arndt, Chris Mazdzer, Johnny Gustafson and Tucker West, along with Mazdzer’s doubles partner Jayson Terdiman, will also make stops in Germany, Norway and Latvia before the World Championships in Sochi, Russia Feb. 14-16 next year. The World Cup season consists of a total of nine race weekends.

Mazdzer, who won a silver medal in the 2018 Olympics in the men’s singles race, joined forces with Terdiman last season and competed in both singles and doubles. After Terdiman’s former partner, Matt Mortensen, retired, Mazdzer stepped in to compete in both disciplines so that the US could field a relay team.

Mazdzer and Terdiman finished in second place at last year’s World Cup in Lake Placid. Mazdzer was fourth in the singles race the day before.

Britcher earned a silver medal in the women’s race last year.

Luge races typically consist of women’s, men’s, doubles and a team relay where all three follow each other down the track. Mazdzer’s doubling up allows the US to compete in all four disciplines.

After the 2018-19 season, the US relay team is ranked fifth in the world, while Germany holds the top spot. In doubles, Mazdzer and Terdiman are ranked eighth in the world. The German duo of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken sit atop the doubles field.

In individual rankings, all three US men are in the top 20, with West ranked 16th, Mazdzer 18th and Gustafson 19th. Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko was the top ranked man after last season.

On the women’s side, the U.S. is poised to fare well this coming winter with Britcher currently ranked third in the world. Sweeney, who lives in Lake Placid, is 15th, Arndt is 20th and Germaine is 26th in the field of 50 ranked women. Germany holds the top two spots, with Natalie Geisenberger ranked first.