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February 21, 2006

Fun (Olympic!) Facts: Luge

What's it called when little kids sleigh down a snowy mountain? It's called delightful childhood fun! What's it called when a grown man/woman squeezes their ass into a skintight bodysuit and sleighs down a treacherous ice-tunnel? It's called LUGE and it's more fun than slipping and falling in a icy parking lot. Allegedly.

Luge, commonly known as "The Sport of People Too Cheap to buy a Bobsled", requires quick reflexes, total body strength, and nerves of steel. HAHAHAHAHA... I'm kidding; no it doesn't. Remember, these guys are sliding supine down an ice tube on (what amounts to) a glorified cafeteria tray. You can't STEER a cafeteria tray - and anyone who tells you different is probably trying to sell you a really expensive cafeteria tray. Despite broadcasters' claims to the contrary, there is no actual skill involved in the "sport" of luge. Once a competitor hops on the sled, gravity does the rest.

So why do some luge racers succeed while others fail? It all comes down to aerodynamics. World class lugers must possess a body shape that minimizes aerodynamic drag - particularly in the CROTCHULAR region. Because they race feet-first, with legs shoulder length apart, all of the airflow collects between the racer's legs. In fact, extensive wind-tunnel testing has proven that a luger's crotch serves as a nexus of wind resistance (or, in layman's terms, a "drag-sack"). Male racers with a bulging or protruding crotch area will be at a disadvantage on the track (though perhaps they will gain an advantage during certain post-luge social activities).

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

Posted by Joey at February 21, 2006 10:41 AM

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