U.S. luger Tucker West has his father Brett to thank for the backyard luge that helped him become the country’s youngest-ever Olympic competitor in the event at 18. He also has his dad to scold for making #TeamTucker into something of an Internet phenomenon.
As you can see from this clip, Brett West said that Tucker is “very single, and he’s a little shy, so you’ll have to reach out to him” on TODAY.
Well … they did.
Brett West knows that he’s going to hear it from his son, as he admitted on Facebook.
Then again, Brett West can reply with more than the usual “I took you into this world,” retort. After all, this NBCOlympics.com profile reveals why Tucker West is known as “The Backyard Luger.”
While watching the luge competition during the Salt Lake Olympics, Tucker’s father, Brett West, said to his seven-year-old son, “That looks like a lot of fun. Is that something you’d like to do?”
The two were so enamored with the sport that they decided to build a luge track in the backyard of their home in the quaint New England town of Ridgefield.
It started with a snow track that they iced down, but it would always melt away. Eventually it evolved into a wooden monstrosity.
Nah. Brett West might still be in trouble.
Katie Ledecky rewrote the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center pool record book in her first college home meet.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist broke pool records in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in a dual meet with Washington State on Thursday.
Ledecky clocked 1:44.18 in the 200-yard free, which broke Olympic champion teammate Simone Manuel‘s mark of 1:44.34 from last year.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 1:42.42. Ledecky’s personal best in the event is 1:41.04. The American record is 1:39.10 by Missy Franklin.
About 45 minutes later, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.43, breaking 2008 Olympian Julia Smit‘s pool record of 4:41.74.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 4:31.33. Ledecky’s personal best is 4:26.58, which doubles as the American record.
Ledecky passed up millions in endorsement dollars to swim collegiately.
The Stanford women’s swim team hosts Texas on Nov. 12, streamed live.
MORE: Phelps, Ledecky lead Golden Goggle nominees
Nick Symmonds, the outspoken two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, said he thinks he’s going to try and compete one more season.
“I really want to make one more worlds team,” Symmonds said in a Facebook video Thursday. “I’ve just got to make sure my ankle holds up.”
Symmonds, 32, last raced May 18 and missed the Olympic Trials due to a left ankle injury. He said Thursday that he’s 100 percent healthy and running 40 miles per week.
On June 30, Symmonds said after withdrawing before the Olympic Trials that he “could possibly” compete one more year, but the decision would come down to whether his apparel sponsor, Brooks, wanted to extend his contract beyond 2016.
The 2013 World Championships silver medalist said he had accomplished all of his running goals except for winning an Olympic medal (he was fifth in 2012) and completing a marathon.
In 2015, Symmonds won his sixth U.S. 800m title but missed the world championships due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.
Once he retires, Symmonds has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.
MORE: Devon Allen: I can still be a 2-sport athlete