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U.S. Venture, Inc. and USA Luge partner to bring the fastest sport on ice to Appleton area youth


U.S. Venture, Inc. and USA Luge partner to bring the fastest sport on ice to Appleton area youth

USA Luge Olympians will participate in recruitment events

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The USA Luge Slider Search, using sleds on wheels in the summer to find future national team members and Olympians, will roll into U.S. Venture country in Appleton, Wisc., August 13-14.

U.S. Venture, Inc. is a USA Luge sponsor and is excited to bring this fun recruitment opportunity to its home city.

USA Luge’s primary recruitment event, targeting boys and girls ages 9-13, will be held on East Broadway Drive between North Ballard Road and Thornapple Lane. Clinics will be offered daily from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Participants are asked to attend one session.

The clinics are free and everyone receives a cool Slider Search T-Shirt for attending.

Sochi Olympic bronze medalist and 2009 World Champion Erin Hamlin, of Remsen, N.Y., and teammate Tucker West, of Ridgefield, Conn., also a Sochi Olympian and Youth Olympic Games gold medalist, will be on hand to help introduce the youngsters to their sport.

“We are proud to be a major sponsor of USA Luge and their winning tradition,” said U.S. Venture CEO, John Schmidt. “And, we are pleased to be part of the national Slider Search recruitment opportunity for youth in our community.”

The mission of this grass-roots program, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Athletes who may progress through the six-rung development ladder (Junior Development Team, Junior Team Candidate Select, Junior Team Candidate, Junior National Team Select, Junior National Team, National Team Select) have hopes of one-day becoming members of the National and Olympic Luge Teams.

“We are excited to have these world-class Olympic athletes take the time to work with kids in the Appleton area and introduce them to the sport of luge. This hands-on experience is a great opportunity to see if luge is in their future. These kids will never forget this experience,” said Appleton’s Mayor Timothy Hanna.

Over the years, the USA Luge Slider Search has traveled over 220,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 20,000 eager young athletes. At each series stop, guided by U.S. Olympic and National Team coaches and athletes, participants are taught the basics of riding a luge sled at controlled speeds, including positioning, steering and stopping. Once these skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped luge sleds.

Finally, athletes test their physical skills through a battery of fitness tests. Those who show promise in the summer program are invited to Lake Placid, N.Y.; Park City, Utah; or Muskegon, Mich. to try luge on ice at a USA Luge sanctioned training site. The top young athletes from this group are selected for the next year’s development team.

Most of the current U.S. Junior National Team was recruited through the USA Luge Slider Search, so it’s no wonder the coaching staff feels future National and Olympic Teams will come from this recruiting program.

Hamlin was identified in a 1999 Slider Search, while Brian Martin, a 1998 Olympic bronze and 2002 Olympic silver medalist, was discovered at a Slider Search in 1987.

Eight members from USA Luge’s 2010 Olympic team and six athletes on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Luge Team were graduates of the Search.

Register by phone at 1-800-USA-LUGE, or online through a secure store site at

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