USA Luge is starting their nationwide search for talent this winter. And they're doing it in a way they've never tried before...
With a virtual talent search open to everyone - no matter whether they see snow outside or not.
The USA Luge Talent Search offers motivated athletes an opportunity to try a Winter Olympic sport and be discovered by Team USA coaches. The virtual event is open to anyone and is a great opportunity for former athletes or talent transfers from other sports to begin a journey in a new sport.
The goal of the Talent Search is to help USA Luge coaches better identify more prospective athletes who could compete in international events. So, athletes who stand out could be selected to tryout for Team USA at various levels based on age and ability.
While you might think you need a lot of experience to be seen by USA Olympic coaches, that isn't necessarily the case.
USA luge is looking for athletes who have unique athletic abilities they can showcase in other major American sports. In fact, a majority of the athletes in selected for Team USA's sliding teams - including Bobsleigh, Skeleton, and Luge - transition to those sports after a career in Track & Field, Football, or another one of the major college sports.
And you don't even need cold weather or a sled to get your name in front of the USA Luge coaches. Within the USA Luge Talent Search, there are three individual activities athletes can participate in and submit videos to:
The first activity, Intro to USA Luge, asks athletes to submit an introductory video about why they want to try Luge and a USA Luge video gives you some additional info on the sport. The activity also includes a questionnaire asking for things like an athletes' age - to determine which level of competition you are eligible for - among other things. All questionnaire answers are private and only seen by USA Luge coaches.
The second and third activities in the USA Luge Talent Search ask for video uploads from the athletes to showcase specific muscle groups needed for luge. Each of the activities is accessible for everyone and can be performed and recorded at home or at a local gym.
- The Overhead Medicine Ball Toss Activity helps Luge coaches see an athlete's explosiveness which is a major part of the start of a Luge run. The further an athlete can throw the medicine ball, the more force and speed they might be able to generate in the push start.
- The Pull Ups Activity helps coaches see an athletes' stamina and upper body strength which are essential attributes for a Luge athlete.
After an athlete participates in these three activities, their video uploads and questionnaire answers will be visible for USA Luge coaches to review and evaluate. Athletes who stand out to the coaches could be contacted to tryout for the team in person and run tests on a sled. From there, the athlete could begin training for international competitions representing Team USA.
To participate in the USA Luge Talent Search for yourself or to share it with someone who would be interested, you can access the event HERE. In order to participate, athletes will need to create a GMTM profile.