Learn the language of luge

NBC Olympics has put together a glossary of terms for the sport of luge. Now that Remsen native Erin Hamlin has qualified for the 2018 Winter Games, you might want to become familiar with the sport's terminology before the torch is lit and the competition begins.

Posted: Nov. 27, 2017 1:28 PM
Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 8:43 AM

NBC Olympics has put together a glossary of terms for the sport of luge. Now that Remsen native Erin Hamlin has qualified for the 2018 Winter Games, you might want to become familiar with the sport's terminology before the torch is lit and the competition begins. For an understanding of the rules Go Here

Artificial Track


A track that has been specifically constructed for the support of luge, unlike a natural track, which is made from existing mountain roads and paths.

Block

The beginning of the start motion when the athlete rocks the sled forward.

Bootie

The name for a luge racing shoe.

Bridge

The part of the sled that connects the two runners together.

Compression

The phase of the start motion after the block. The athlete uses the hips to push the sled backwards.

Extension

The phase of the start motion after the pull. The athlete extends the legs to lock into the sled.

Handles

There are metal handles at the luge start that the athlete uses to propel forward. There are also handles inside each sled.

FIL

The sport’s international federation.

Line

The fastest route down the track.

Paddle

After the start motion is completed, using spiked gloves to dig into the ice surface to accelerate the sled forward after the start.

Pod

The seat for the athlete.

Pull

The phase of the start motion after the compression. The athlete begins the forward movement of the actual start.

Push

The phase of the start motion after the extension, when the hips reach the start handles. The athlete extends the arms to push against the start handles.

Runners

The steels, which touch the ice, are attached to the sled’s two runners. They are also known as Kufens. They are not allowed to be heated.

Steels

The steel pieces on which the sled rides. They are attached to the runners.

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