US Luge Team Going High-Tech for Medal Chase

The following if an excerpt from ABC News:

After the World Cup luge season ends in the frosty Italian Alps this weekend, Mark Grimmette will pack away his mittens for a few days and start heading halfway around the world to breezy, sunny San Diego.

Once there, Grimmette will lie down and relax.

A quick vacation after a long season? Not hardly.

The soon-to-be five-time U.S. luge Olympian will be hard at work on Feb. 3, trying on at least three different bodytight suits that serve as a racer’s uniform in a high-tech wind tunnel, looking to find those tiny fractions of seconds that could help him or another teammate find the podium at the fast-approaching Vancouver Games.

“My job’s pretty simple,” Grimmette said. “I just have to lie there on the sled and be as still as possible.”

Simple, sure, but vital considering luge speeds on the track at the Whistler Sliding Center flirt with 100 mph — almost unheard of for the sport.

“The upcoming round of aerodynamic testing will be especially important,” said Gordy Sheer, an Olympic medalist and now USA Luge’s director of marketing.

Most sports measure time to the tenth or hundredth of a second. Luge measures to the thousandth, simply because the line between winning and losing can be incredibly slim. So to find a sliver of time here or there, USA Luge is heading back to a place it has visited many times before, the San Diego Air and Space Technology Center.

Grimmette will squeeze his body into suits of different fabrics and styles, made by companies from all over the world. To common fans, they all would look pretty much the same, but to racers the differences can be colossal.

Click here for the entire article.

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