US, others pull out of Luge World Cup, citing safety

The U.S. has pulled its whole staff out of this weekend’s sequence of Global Cup luge races in Winterberg, Germany, whilst athletes from many countries are protesting what they’re calling unsafe ice prerequisites.

Austria has additionally withdrawn its whole staff from the weekend occasions or even a number of sliders from Germany — on house ice, no much less — have mentioned they aren’t prepared to race this weekend. The Global Luge Federation introduced a compromise of types Friday via announcing it could shorten the race distance, however even that didn’t clear up the serious confrontation between sliders and officers over the protection factor.


“In response to the comments from our athletes and coaches, we can no longer take part within the Winterberg Global Cup,” USA Luge mentioned in a remark Friday. “We appreciate their reviews that prerequisites aren’t protected. All of the Austrian staff has walked away, in addition to some Germans and Russians, together with Olympic medalists and Global Cup leaders, who’re additionally no longer racing.”

Sliders from many countries have mentioned there’s an excessive amount of ice buildup on sure curves, which considerably will increase the risk of crashing.

Coaching this weekend in Winterberg has been marred via a number of crashes or even some accidents to most sensible sliders. The German doubles staff of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt — one of the most highest and maximum completed groups within the historical past of the game — wrote on their shared Fb web page that the danger of crashing was once “extraordinarily top and due to this fact incalculable.”

“Now not most effective are observe prerequisites not up to perfect however this was once dropped at the eye of the FIL and over again we have been advised that the whole lot is OK,” mentioned USA Luge veteran Chris Mazdzer, the 2018 Olympic males’s silver medalist. “It’s at all times OK. For the final 15 years the whole lot has been OK. … The whole thing isn’t OK.”

All 3 of the highest German doubles sleds have mentioned they’ll no longer compete this weekend. All of the Austrian luge staff, together with Olympic males’s champion David Gleirscher, mentioned Thursday that it was once going house. Most sensible Russian males’s slider Roman Repilov additionally was once bearing in mind skipping this weekend.

Gleirscher crashed all the way through a coaching run, and his thoughts was once made up proper there.

“I used to be fortunate in my coaching crash and do not wish to take the danger a 2d time,” Gleirscher mentioned.

Mazdzer was once making plans to skip a minimum of one in all his two races this weekend earlier than the American federation determined to tug out en masse.

“We’re racing drivers, wish to compete with others on the perfect degree and love this thrill,” German doubles staff Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm wrote on their Instagram web page, explaining why they pulled out of a Global Cup on their house observe. “However up to we have been taking a look ahead to it right here, we need to come to a decision simply as sensibly that well being is not just within the foreground and no longer most effective people however of all different athletes.”

The de facto boycott via some athletes will have an effect on who finishes up successful the season Global Cup males’s, girls’s and doubles championships. Winterberg is the next-to-last race at the Global Cup time table, adopted via the finale subsequent weekend in Konigssee, Germany.

Repilov leads the lads’s standings via 61 issues over Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller. Tatiana Ivanova of Russia leads Germany’s Julia Taubitz via 12 issues within the girls’s race. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken lead Wendl and Arlt via 10 issues within the race for the doubles name.

With 100 issues awarded for a win, the standings may have shifted wildly this weekend.

“In our eyes, the observe isn’t appropriate,” Austria trainer Rene Friedl mentioned.

Country’s Cup races, which might be qualifying races for the Global Cup, have been held Friday. Best 5 doubles sleds competed, in comparison to 15 that have been within the Country’s Cup doubles race at the latest Global Cup previous this month.

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