Olympic luge racers start training on Sanki Sliding Center course

Sanki Sliding Center
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Many of the Olympic luge athletes got re-acquainted with the Sanki Sliding Center today as training for the Sochi Olympics began on what’s considered as the world’s longest track.

“You get comfortable, you get the routine down, how to get to the track, how much time you need, making it as efficient as possible so on race day I’ve done it a few times,” U.S. racer and former world champion Erin Hamlin said to the Associated Press.

“The track felt great. It was systematics today and that’s not the most convenient, but it’s nice to get a feel for the track.”

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The men will begin their training tomorrow at Sanki, which along with its length is notable for three uphill sections that are designed to slow top speeds. It’s an interesting wrinkle and a necessary one after the 2010 Olympic luge competition in Vancouver was marred by the training crash and death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

This year’s competition officially begins Saturday and Sunday with the men, followed by the women on Feb. 10-11, doubles on Feb. 12, and the team relay on Feb. 13. Prior to the Olympics, Sanki had hosted a World Cup event last February and an international training week later that fall.