(ATR) International Luge Federation president Josef Fendt says consecutive Winter Olympics in Asia could pave the way for an athlete from the region topping the luge podium.
FIL secretary general Svein Romstad and president Josef Fendt at the ATR booth at SportAccord Convention. (ATR)
“Why not?” Fendt asks Around the Rings
Editor Ed Hula on a special edition of ATRadio from the SportAccord Convention. “It’s possible – but it takes a long time.”
Fendt says staging the next two Winter Games in PyeongChang and Beijing poses a “special challenge” for the federation. Neither South Korea nor China had a luge, bobsleigh and skeleton venue prior to being selected to host the Winter Olympics. The Alpensia Sliding Centre is now complete and up to FIL and IBSF standards.
“We now have three tracks in Asia, Nagano in Japan, in Korea and in the future in Beijing,” Fendt says. “We are sure we will have a very interesting track in China and so it is a new challenge for us.”
Although Fendt admits he is concerned about the future of luge in South Korea once the Olympics conclude next February, he notes that all but one of the Olympic luge tracks used since 1976 are still in use today.
“We know it’s not easy… but we will work together with our colleagues from IBSF and maybe we can have competitions not every year but maybe every two or three years [in Korea].”
Listen below for the full conversation with Fendt and Hula:
Written by Kevin Nutley
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