2014 U.S. Olympian Tucker West compares a luge run to riding a roller coaster.
“But imagine you’re wearing a blindfold that kind of slipped halfway off, and you still have to make sure you stay on the track,” he said.
There is no sport at the Winter Olympics faster on ice than luge.
Lugers can reach speeds as high as 90 mph as they plunge feet-first down an icy track. Mere milliseconds over four runs can determine the winner.
The phrase “Fastest Sport on Ice” is even a registered trademark of USA Luge.
“Coming out of every turn curve feels like launching into space on a rocket,” said 2010 and 2014 U.S. Olympian Chris Mazdzer in a promotional video for the sport.
Luge is one of two Winter Olympic sports, along with short track, that are timed to the thousandth of a second. And such precision is necessary. The 1998 Olympic women’s race was decided by just .002 seconds over four runs.
“This sport can be won or lost in the thousandths of a second,” said 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin. “It’s us against the clock.”
“It’s difficult to make it look like you’re doing nothing,” he said. “If you were to send a normal person down a luge track on Olympic ice, they would probably flip the sled within a turn or two.”
NBCOlympics.com: Erin Hamlin named Team USA flag bearer for PyeongChang Opening Ceremony
You can watch the “Fastest Sport on Ice” beginning Feb. 10. The men’s competition will take place on Feb. 10 and 11 in PyeongChang, followed by the women’s competition on Feb. 12 and 13, with the doubles competition on Feb. 14 and the team relay on Feb. 15.
Another Olympics is in the books.
The PyeongChang Closing Ceremony will cap off the 2018 Winter Games Sunday morning, beginning at 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT with a live stream of the events.
Jessie Diggins has been named the U.S. flag bearer after an incredibly gutsy performance to take home the country’s first-ever gold medal in Cross-Country.
How, when and where to watch the Closing Ceremony
Stream LIVE on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app: Sunday at 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT (Stream here)
The live stream will feature all the sights and sounds of the Closing Ceremony without any commentary.
Watch on TV: Sunday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC (Stream here)
The Olympic figure skating commentating trio of Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir and Terry Gannon will host the Closing Ceremony on NBC in primetime beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
“It’s a huge honor and privilege,” Lipinski said. “I’m so excited to embark on this new and exciting adventure and bring the Closing Ceremony to the U.S.”
“This is a glorious and unexpected experience that I can’t wait to get fancy for!” Weir said.
Mike Tirico – NBC’s primetime host throughout the PyeongChang Games – hosted the Closing Ceremony for Rio in 2016 alongside Ryan Seacrest and Mary Carillo.
Tirico and Katie Couric hosted the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony in South Korea two weeks ago.
Sunday night’s primetime edition of the Closing Ceremony will also feature simulstreams on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. (Stream here)
There’s no one word to describe Team USA’s men’s curling victory in the gold medal game Saturday morning.
For a team in a sport that is known for yelling, the victory left John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner speechless.
Watch highlights from Team USA’s 10-7 gold medal win over Sweden
On the morning of February 19, Matt’s (Hamilton) birthday, the day we played Canada, I woke up saw it and said ‘I have a choice. I have a choice to rewrite my story, to write the story of this team. That we put the work in and I wasn’t going to let any thought in my head or any of that stuff get the in way of the story of this team… they deserve to have the skip who helped them get here and I’m glad I showed up.
It’s unbelievable, this whole last four years. Just being on the cusp at the world championships. Getting bronze one year, coming fourth and fifth the other two years. We knew we were close, and to make the breakthrough here at the Olympics is just amazing.
It’s too surreal to even think about right now… I think it’s going to hit harder tomorrow but I keep waiting to wake up. I’ve not been emotional because it’s just shock. To go from where we were a few days ago… the emotions, they’re bottled up and they’re building but it’s going to be a little bit before they come out.
NBCOlympics.com: PyeongChang a much different Olympics for Shuster, Team USA
For me and John [Shuster]… This time around we were able to show them what we’re capable of and we’re really proud of that… And this team, I’m just proud of what we have all done. We’ve put in so much work together the last four years and we’ve been able to peak at the right time obviously. So I can’t imagine it means any more than the world to any of us.