SPIRIT OF THE NORTH: Learning to LugeSubmitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Hayley Tenpas

NEGAUNEE, MICHIGAN - Imagine a sport where you slide 65 miles per hour down a steep, curved, icy slope.

That sport would be the luge.

There's only one place in America where anyone can simply drive in and learn to luge.

That's Negaunee, Michigan.

"It's definitely a rush going down the ice," said second time slider Wesley McDermott.

"My biggest kick is when they come up and they have this gigantic smile on their face," said coach Jessica Straczeowski.

Lucy Hill in Negaunee, Michigan is a natural luge hill, winding down a steep slope surrounded by snow.

"They look like an ice rink that's tilted 45 degrees," said Straczeowski.

Although similar to the event you'll see in Sochi, Negaunee's track is completely flat.

"Our athletes actually have to sit up to brake, to slow down before corners," said Straczeowski.

The track isn't refrigerated or as fast as the one in Sochi.

"They go like 65 mph instead of 90 mph," said Straczeowski.

But the journey to the top of the hill starts with learning the rules, and once you're geared up, it's go time!

"It's speedy! You just get your adrenaline running and you're on a sled and you're only this high off the ice and the ice makes a sound like, shhhhhhkkkeewwwwww," said Straczeowski.

Many athletes learn about luge in Negaunee and eventually switch to an artificial track like ones in Sochi.

"Our club feeds into the USLA, Lake Placid, so we have sliders from here who are participating in the Olympics artificial track," said Straczeowski.

Luge has been in the Olympics since 1964.

This year the USA picked up the first ever medal in women's luge this year.

"There's so much once you do it, it captures your heart," said Straczeowski.

You can learn to luge with the Upper Peninsula luge club on Saturdays. That's when it's open to the public.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

GREEN BAY - The Packers secured their 11th straight home win Sunday against the Rams.

With that home field advantage comes the die-hard fans.

Whether it's their first game or an annual tradition there's no doubt Packer fans love their team.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - It can be difficult to attract young people to live in the Northwoods.

That's one reason a local of chamber of commerce held a job fair Monday.

The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce organized a job fair at Lakeland Union High School.

This was the first year it was held.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People will need to wear thicker clothes as the temperatures begin to drop. One Northwoods group wants to make sure everyone has enough clothes to stay warm.

Warm for Winter in Rhinelander hands out hundreds of pieces of donated clothes every year. The group says it'll have everything people need for the winter.

+ Read More

Play Video

GREEN BAY - A Packers' win can give any fan a reason to celebrate.

But, even before the game begins at Lambeau Field, you can see fans showing their green and gold pride.

+ Read More
Local clinics offer flu shotsSubmitted: 10/12/2015

NORTHWOODS - Flu season will be here soon, and local health experts say the best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to get a flu shot.

Aspirus is holding flu shot clinics in Land O' Lakes, Rhinelander, Three Lakes, and Woodruff. Doctors recommend you get a shot every year.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - A House Republican conservative leader says the group would "look favorably" on Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan if he runs for speaker.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio says his group is sticking with its endorsement of Florida's U.S. Representative Daniel Webster. That's unless Ryan reconsiders and decides to run to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Defense lawyers for the owners and operators of a suburban Milwaukee gun shop say their clients shouldn't be held liable for injuries inflicted upon a pair of police officers who were shot with a gun sold at the store.

James Vogts and Wendy Gunderson said in closing arguments Monday that their clients were deceived by a straw buyer who purchased a gun for someone else, even though he knew it was illegal to do so.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here