The USA Luge team, sponsored by World Financial Group, has announced their 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic team.  Six team members will compete individually and four will compete as doubles teams.  The team is comprised of:

  • Tony Benshoff of White Bear Lake, Minn.  Tony finished fourth in the 2006 Torino Olympics.  He has won 37 international medals sliding for USA Luge, making him the all-time singles medals leader.
  • Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y.  Chris won the 2005 Youth A men’s singles World Cup and has won two team event silver medals.  In addition, he also won the 2007 Verizon US National Championship title and the 2008 Verizon US Junior National Championship.
  • WFG-adopted athlete Bengt Walden of Westborough, Mass.  Bengt’s most recent Olympic experience was sliding for Sweden.  This will be his first time sliding for the red, white and blue in Olympic competition.  Bengt won the 2008 Verizon US National Champion title.
  • Julia Clukey of Augusta, ME.  Julia is a two-time US Junior Silver Medalist and two-time US national luge start champion.  Last season, Julia was the US National Champion silver medalist and placed fifth in the World Championship.  Sliding since 1999, Vancouver represents Julia’s first Olympics.
  • Erin Hamlin of Remsen, NY.  Erin is the current reigning women’s world champion, winning earlier this year in Lake Placid.  Erin won the US national championships in 2008 and 2009, and most recently placed third in a World Cup event in Lillehammer, Norway.
  • Megan Sweeney of Suffield, Conn.  Megan is a two-time US Juniors National Champion and has won 10 individual junior’s medals in her career.  While this is her first Winter Olympics, she is no stranger to Olympics experience.  She won gold and silver medals in the 1998 junior Olympics in karate.
  • WFG-adopted athletes Mark Grimmette of Muskegon, Mich. and Brian Martin of Palo Alto, Calif.  This team has won 65 medals in international competition, including the bronze medal in the 1998 Nagano Olympics and the silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics!  Earlier in 2009, Mark and Brian won the bronze medal in the World Cup and were featured in Sports Illustrated. 
  • Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Wash. and Dan Joye of San Jose, Calif.  Christian and Dan were the 2008 US champions and the 2009 US silver medalists and recently contributed to a team relay silver medal in Germany.  While Dan has been an Olympic participant before, this is Christian’s first trip! 

Opening ceremonies, featuring these fine athletes in the parade of nations, are Feb. 12.  Men’s competition will begin on the Feb.13, women’s on the Feb. 15 and doubles on the Feb. 17.  Be sure to read for all the latest on our USA Luge team!

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