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12 Nov 2003
IOC News

Luge World Cup: Fundamental innovations

There will be fundamental innovations when the Luge World Cup starts the new season with the first event in Sigulda, Latvia (13-15 November). With elementary changes, the events shall be rendered more attractive and interesting for the luge enthusiasts on site as well as the TV spectators.

Team event
The changes in the 2003/2004 season include: different training runs according to the athletes' ability; qualification for men, women and doubles; the abolition of breaks during the races, as well as the introduction of a team event. For the time being a trial phase is planned until the end of 2003. Subsequently, the Executive Board of the International Luge Federation (FIL) led by President Josef Fendt will then decide on a possible continuation.

Tighten the programme
"With all these measures we hope to tighten the programme and increase the suspense so that the Luge World Cup will be more attractive for spectators and the media", explained FIL President Fendt. The 1976 Olympic runner-up and two-time World Champion had been instrumental in promoting the changes. In spring 2003 he called together officials, coaches, athletes and media representatives to participate in a "workshop". Together with the FIL Executive Board, he put into practise the best proposals that were compiled during the workshop. Josef Fendt said, "We need to introduce innovations and changes in order to be prepared for future challenges."

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