What You Might Mean When You Say Team Luge Events

The international Olympic Committee has approved a handful of new sports for the 2014 Winter Games In Sochi, and one addition stuck out immediately on the first read through the release:

The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that ski halfpipe (men and women), mixed relay in biathlon and team events in luge and figure skating were also added to the program.


The phrase "team events in luge" is especially interesting to me because there already is a two-man luge, and to say it's awkward it to understate just how crowded one tiny sled gets when you put two men in spandex on it and ask them to engage in subsonic downhill spooning

So what could the IOC mean by team relay? There's an answer, and I'll get to it, but first to the more entertaining matter of blind guessing what it could mean.

Combat Luge: Two teams start on a single luge run: four men, two sleds, and whatever they can carry to harass the other team on the way down and cross the line first. Note: sharp implements, guns, blades, and explosives are forbidden, though firework use is encouraged.

Counterposed Team Luge.  Like the regular two-man luge, but with each man facing a different way on the luge. At least one man must face backwards, and the sled must cross the finish line with both riders on the sled. Hugging is permitted.

Standing Team Luge. Riders must stand. 

The Equestrian Luge. One rider assumes the face-forward Skeleton position, while the other sits on the first rider's back in the equestrian manner.

The Seven Man Luge. Just like the two-man, but with seven men on a sled. Stack yourselves like firewood and you'll be fine.

The Catamaran Luge. Riders may use straps to lean into turns as one does on a catamaran.

The Uphill Luge. One rider rides the sled uphill as racers begin at the bottom of the run and push their partner to the top. Riders may alternate for maximum effort.

The Whipcracker. The two man luge is augmented by the addition of a third rider who hangs onto the back of the sled for the entire race. Teams must cross the line as a unit, and will be disqualified for losing their hanger.

The Organic Luge. Similar to the two-man, but course is run without a luge sled.

The actual answer: The actual answer is a relay where one solo luger starts immediately after the other, but that's nowhere near as much fun as any of these suggestions.

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