Muskegon Winter Sports Complex: One of Four Luge Tracks in America
Michigan is home to many outdoor sports and activities but one stands out in particular. It is the Luge track in Western Michigan at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex. It is one of four luge tracks in the country and is one of two that are open to the public.
Executive Director, Davey Gonzales says, “The Luge is a winter sport. It’s an event where you go down an ice track and get timed by a thousandth of a second so it’s the fastest sport on ice.”
Long-time luger Carola Basaj shares that getting to try out this track is a once in a lifetime experience. “You cannot just walk up to the Luge track in Lake Placid or Park City Utah and say I want to try this out. They’re not going to let you on there. Here we have public Luge clinics.”
The sport is fairly simple. You lay down and hold on tight – letting the sled do most of the work.
Gonzales says, “It’s like laying down in a coffin. You just lay down and be really subtle and let the sled run.”
Don’t expect to go as fast as the professionals. Gonzales says this track takes 20 seconds or less to complete. “You go like 18 miles an hour. If you go to the top it’s like 25 miles per hour. The real tracks go like 70-80.”
Anyone can pick up luging. You just have to be able to carry a 35-40 lbs sled up several flights of stairs and be willing to listen.
“You can teach anyone who is teachable it’s not that difficult to learn,” says Basaj who does most of the training at the sports complex.
No matter how fast you go, you get to take home a medal to feel like a true Olympian. If you want to experience some of the fun for yourself click here.