The men’s luge event this year in Vancouver, Canada for the Winter Olympics could be a sweep by the strong Italian team. The Italians, led by Armin Zoeggeler, have been tearing up the competition all over Europe and Canada in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
What is luge?
Luge sledding is distinctive from bob and skeleton in that the sled is ridden with the rider lying on their back, steered by leg and shoulder movements. The sport takes its name from the French word for “sled.” Luge has been around since the 15th century and the first competition was held in Davos, Switzerland in 1883. Luge made it’s first appearance in the Winter Olympics in 1964. The sled used is made of plastic and has steel runners which are steered through the riders subtle movements.
Italian Zoeggeler is the favorite to win gold in Vancouver.
Zoeggeler is joined by fellow Italian Wilfried Huber in a quest for Gold and Silver medals for Team Italy. Zoeggeler will be challenged by two Russians that have also been doing well in the lead up to the Winter Olympics. Russian luge teammates Albert Demtschenko and Victor Knieb have performed well over recent weeks.
Italian Wilfried Huber is second favorite to his teammate Zoeggeler.
Wilfried Huber is living in the shadow of two time men’s luge world champ Armin Zoeggeler. This could be Huber’s chance to break out and ,make a name for himself. Huber has the talent and he has a huge opportunity to bring home a medal, maybe even the gold.
Russian Demtscheko could be a surprise medal favorite.
Demtchenko just finished capturing the latest event on January 3rd, beating two-time champ and Winter Olympic favorite Zoeggeler. The event in Koenigssee,Germany is one of the last events heading into the Winter Olympics. Demtschenko earned the last spot on the Russian Olympic team with the victory.
Demtschenko was ranked 21st after the first two runs and then destroyed the field with two track record runs to earn the victory. Demschenko’s teammate Victor Knieb was the country’s favorite to win a medal until Demtschenko’s huge win. Demtschenko is a medal long shot but look for him to at least be on the podium and possible gold medal winner.
The rest of the field includes two Germans and another potential medal winner in Victor Knieb.
Victor Knieb may be the forgotten man in men’s luge. Knieb could easily throw together four great runs and pick up a silver medal and even a potential gold.
Germany’s David Moeller is another potential medal winner.
Moeller has several podiums throughout the year and could possibly make a run on Whistler Mountain at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Don’t count him out.
Germany’s Felix Loch also has the potential to upset the men’s luge favorites.
Felix Loch is another name to consider for medal contention. He will most definitely make the top five the question is can he break through to get a podium finish.
American’s only hope is Tony Benshoof for a medal.
Tony Benshoof is America’s one chance for a medal in men’s luge. The American, who hails from White Bear, Minnesota, has been in the top ten at every event so far this season. Heading into the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Benshoof is two strong runs away from shocking the world and landing on the podium. The story would be epic and is possible. It only takes two perfect runs in luge to win. Look no further than what Albert Demtschenko pulled off in Germany last week.
A final recap of the possible finishing order for men’s luge.
1) Armin Zoeggeler.
2) Albert Demtschenko.
3) David Moeller.
4) Tony Benshoof.
5) Wilfried Huber.
6) Felix Loch.
7) Victor Knieb.
The men’s luge event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics will be held on Whistler Mountain about 113 kilometers from Vancouver. The first two runs will be held on February 13th and final two runs will be held on Valentines Day.