What the Luge Looks Like, to a Luger
What's it like to fly down an ice tunnel at 80 miles per hour, wearing nothing but Spandex and a helmet? Here, let a GoPro set the scene.
So you're flying down a track at 80 miles an hour, nothing between you and the ice below save for your slick ride and the helmet that you really, really hope will remain unused. G-forces keep your body in place as it careens down the track—which is helpful, because a tiny flaw made in navigating those forces, helmet notwithstanding, could prove fatal.
In other words: Luge is terrifying. This is obvious from just a cursory viewing of the competition on TV, but is proven much more eloquently by the footage above. Which comes courtesy of the U.S. doubles luger Matt Mortensen and the device he, as so many athletes like to these days, mounted to his helmet: a GoPro camera. The footage was shot in 2012, when the Olympic track at the Sanki Sliding Center first opened for luge training. The Sochi track, it's worth noting, was specially designed to be slower than the track in Whistler where, during the 2010 Olympics, the luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died during a practice run. That does not, however, make it any less terrifying.