Lake Placid Trip: The Backstory

As the story goes, when I was 4-years-old I was mesmerized by the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, yes the Miracle on Ice hockey team, but also by the Luge. I don't know why, but every 4 years when the Winter Olympics come around, my parents always told me, "When you were little you loved to watch the luge."

Fast forward nearly four decades and I see a posting for a luge clinic in Palo Alto for kids 9-13. It was called a sledder search and I thought it would be a fun experience for Ellie to go "sled" in Palo Alto, then the next time the Winter Olympics came around, she could say "I tried that."

We went to Palo Alto in early September, Ellie got geared up and went down the hill on her street sled. It wasn't pretty, at least I didn't think it was. She crashed into the hay bails once, got up pretty upset -- mainly because she wasn't excellent at it right away. She left Palo Alto nearly in tears because she couldn't be great at it. Steph and I tried to explain this was just for fun; a chance to try something new, heck, check another sport off the list of things she's tried.

Jump ahead about a month and I receive an email from USA Luge saying that Ellie was being invited to Lake Placid to tryout for the Junior National Luge Team. About 600 kids tryout at these clinics throughout the country, and they selected the top 60. Clearly, I have no idea how to judge a luger (not even sure if that's the right word).

We got the packet of information (which was a bit overwhelming the amount of forms and things that needed to be submitted), made travel reservations and were set for an adventure.

Luge Clinic in Palo Alto that started this adventure

Take a close look at that face

Staying low and going fast