The World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team tried to travel to Koenigssee, Germany for the next Nations and World Cup event on January 5 and 6. However, the weather in the northeastern United States kept our team home for two days, meaning they lost valuable training time on the world’s first artificially refrigerated course. Also, this course was re-designed to better accommodate four-man bobsleds. Would this play a factor in our team’s performance?

In Nations Cup sliding among the women competitors, WFG-adopted athlete Ashley Walden finished fourth with a time of 52.166. This was only 0.363 seconds off the leader. World Cup sliding saw three members of the Women’s USA Luge team brave the course. Finishing the best among them was Ashley. Her three-race combined time of 1:43.760 earned her 12th place. Also finishing in the top 20 was Julia Clukey. Her time of 1:44.106 was good enough for 16th. 2009 World Cup Champion Erin Hamlin finished 21st with a time of 1:45.550.

Doubles competition for the World Cup fared as such: Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman rounded out the Top 10 with a combined time of 1:42.391. Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall finished 14th with a time of 1:43.152.

In men’s Nation Cup racing, Chris Mazdzer finished 10th with a time of 51.901 seconds, just a second off the leader. Joe Mortensen (Matthew’s brother) came in 18th with a time of 52.828 seconds. Trent Matheson’s slide of 54.228 seconds earned him 23rd place. Sadly, WFG-adopted athlete Bengt Walden crashed during training and was not able to compete. In World Cup racing, Chris placed 23rd overall with a combined time of 1:43.593.

In the relay race, consisting of Erin, Chris, Christian and Jayson, the team finished fourth with a combined time of 2:46.834, only 0.863 away from first. The luge relay may be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

USA Luge returns to Germany on Jan. 15 for the next Nations and World Cup completion in Oberhof. Keep reading for the latest on “the fastest sport on ice”!

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