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Slider Search returns to Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID — USA Luge has announced the extension of the White Castle Slider Search into late summer and early fall.

After opening its recruiting tour in Ohio, California, Washington, Minneapolis, Chicago and Wisconsin, the team’s traveling ramp and sleds will offer a clinic in its hometown of Lake Placid on Saturday, followed by stops in Chelmsford, Massachusetts from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 and Utica Sept. 14-15.

There will be a clinic in Lake Placid from 9 a.m. to noon in the Olympic Ski Jump parking lot. In Chelmsford, sessions will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m. at Chelmsford High School on the roadway between the main parking lot and track. Clinics in Utica will be held on Cornelia Street, between Court and Columbia streets, adjacent to City Hall.

Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, 2018 U.S. flag bearer, two-time World Champion and recent inductee into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame, is expected to appear at some point over the weekend.

The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search uses wheeled sleds to introduce girls and boys, ages 9-13, to the sport with the goal of identifying talented athletes to be named to the USA Luge Junior National Development Team. This is the first step in a process that could one day lead a youngster to go for the gold as a member of Team USA.  

Participants are taught the basics of the sport and learn to navigate their way down the hill, instructed by USA Luge Olympians and National Team members. The clinics are free of charge and all participants get a complimentary White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-shirt.

The program has produced more than 20 Olympians, and on average 75 percent of the most recent Olympic teams have been discovered through the Slider Search.

With support from White Castle’s restaurant and retail grocery divisions, the recruitment tour has seen more than 200 young athletes to date.

Those showing talent will be invited to try the sport in Lake Placid or Park City, Utah.  

Luge has been an Olympic sport since 1964 and consists of athletes sliding down a track of ice on sleds, feet first at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. Commonly referred to as “sliders,” USA Luge athletes have won six Olympic medals and almost 600 medals in elite level and junior international competition since 1994.

The most recent international luge season saw Emily Sweeney, of Suffield, Connecticut, winning a bronze medal at the World Championships. Sweeney, a 2018 Olympian, is a product of the White Castle Slider Search.

Also, Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, a two-time Olympian, took third in the overall World Cup standings.

More details and registration information for the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search program can be found at teamusa.org/usa-luge/white-castle-slider-search.