Inform your luge predictions ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing with insight, analysis, and odds from Pinnacle.
One of three sliding sports to be included in the Winter Olympics, luge will be making its 16th Games appearance at Beijing 2022. The luge events at Beijing 2022 will take place between February 5 and February 10 at the Xiaohaituo Bobsleigh and Luge Track, situated in the Chinese capital's Yanqing district.
Luge first appeared at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck in 1964 and Germany are historically the sport's most successful nation, winning 37 medals. That total does not include the 29 medals won by East Germany and the 10 won by West Germany between 1968 and 1988, while the five won by the United Team of Germany are also not included.
Luge sees competitors travel down the course feet first, as opposed to the skeleton, where competitors travel headfirst. In the Singles events, competitors ride a single-person sled, while in the Doubles, they ride a special two-person sled.
How does luge work at the Winter Olympics?
There will be four luge events at the Olympics in 2022. These will be the Men's Singles and Doubles, the Women's Singles, and the Team Relay, which makes its third appearance in the Winter Olympics after debuting at Sochi 2014.
In the Singles events, all athletes get to have four runs (one run per heat) down the course. In the Men's Singles event, heats one and two will take place on February 5, before heats three and four occur the following day. In the Women's Singles, the athletes will complete their first two heats on February 7, before going off for a third and fourth time on February 8.
The fastest cumulative time over an athlete's four runs will win.
All the athletes will compete on the same track and their four rides will be timed to the thousandth of a second. The athletes' times will be added together as the competition goes on and the athlete with the fastest cumulative time over his or her four runs will win.
The Doubles competition is only open to men and takes place on February 9. This competition will see each pair complete two runs and the pair with the fastest time will win gold.
It is then on to the Team Relay on February 10, which sees each of the competing nations have three runs - a Women's Singles, a Men's Singles, and a Doubles - with them going off in that order. Again, the team with the fastest cumulative time will be crowned the Winter Olympics champions.
Germany to dominate again?
As mentioned above, Germany have dominated luge and it could be another strong Winter Olympics for their team. Natalie Geisenberger (4.500*) is likely to lead their challenge. The 33-year-old is the most successful female luger in Olympic and World Championship history, winning the Singles and Team Relay at both Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018, as well as a bronze at Vancouver 2010.
If Geisenberger wins another gold in either competition, she will become the first female rider to win consecutive golds at three Winter Olympics. However, with her again competing in the Singles and Team Relay, she could win the two golds needed to become the most decorated luger in Olympic history. Her greatest competition could come from compatriot Julia Taubitz (2.200*).
Again, it is a German rider who is gaining all the attention ahead of the Men's competition. Felix Loch has won three Winter Olympics gold medals - two in the Singles and one in the Team Relay event. Loch would possibly have won a fourth at PyeongChang 2018 but made a mistake on his third run and could only recover to take fifth.
Austria's David Gleirscher won the Men’s Singles gold four years ago at PyeongChang 2018, and while that was a surprise result, he will be looking to follow that up with another medal in Beijing. Gleirscher claimed two bronze medals and a gold medal at last year's World Championships in Konigssee and will not be underestimated for the second Games in a row.