Does Your Child Dream Of Becoming An Olympian? Free Recruitment Clinics With USA Luge

Team USA Slider Search

While we were watching the Winter Olympics this year, Lucas said he wanted to try Luge. Finding sports that are a good fit for my little guy has been difficult so I had briefly looked into Luge since he’d shown interest and was dissapointed that I hadn’t found any place nearby for him to try out the sport. That’s why I am so excited to share about a National recruiting initiative by Team USA Luge and White Castle that is bringing free clinics to youth around the country that let them try out this winter sport.

The Slider Search is an annual grass-roots recruitment program to introduce youth to the sport of luge and identify the next generation of USA Luge team members and Olympians. The series of clinics is open to boys and girls ages nine through 13, and will provide an introduction to luge using wheeled sleds and coaching from National and Olympic team athletes. Top participants from the nationwide tour will be considered for the USA Luge Junior Development team.

The summer and fall tour will travel around the nation to introduce youth to luge in Chicago, Columbus, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Burlington, San Francisco, Long Island and Salt Lake City. The tour will also make its way to Lake Placid, hometown of USA Luge. At each series stop, 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 and test skills through a battery of fitness tests.

Those who show promise in the summer program are invited to Lake Placid, NY; Park City, UT; or Muskegon, MI, 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.

Registration is required and can be completed online at http://www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search. Participants only need to attend one of the many free clinics and everyone in attendance will receive an exclusive White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-Shirt.

“The White Castle Slider Search is critical to finding luge athletes to represent the United States who will someday go for the gold,” said Gordy Sheer, director of marketing and sponsorships for USA Luge, and 1998 Olympic silver medalist. “A morning or afternoon of trying something fun and new could be the first step down a path to glory.” Over the years, the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search has traveled over 220,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 20,000 eager young athletes.

For details about USA Luge, the Slider Search program, or to register for a clinic, visit http://www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search.

 

How To Recreate The Summer Games In Your Own Backyard

I’m excited to be partnering with Meijer this summer to celebrate the summer games. Check out our fun idea and more ideas from other bloggers on the Meijer website!

Every four years, countries get to show off their best athletes in the Summer Games. The whole world watches as athletes in numerous sports compete in hundreds of events over a few weeks time. People enjoy supporting athletes from their country as they watch the games in person or on television. To make the time even more magical for my kids, I thought it would be fun to host our own ‘summer games’ in our backyard.

To start we took a look at all of the sports that athletes can compete in and picked a handful that we could easily recreate. We had everything we needed for soccer, golf and badminton and headed to Meijer for everything else. We found a great inflatable basketball hoop and pool diving sticks that would work for a relay race so we added basketball and track & field to our summer games list.

Once we had the sports chosen we needed to make two things for our summer games- the torch carried during the opening ceremony and medals for the winners. Both are simple crafts that can be made with items you probably have at home already. Here is what you will need to make each and the directions to make them.

Torch

  • Cardboard tube (we used the tube from TP rolls)
  • Tissue paper (red and orange)
  • Tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors

To make the torch

  • Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than your cardboard tube
  • Roll the foil around your tube, completely covering it
  • Tuck the foil over the edges on each side and into the cardboard tube
  • Cut your tissue paper pieces into four equal squares
  • Pick four pieces of tissue paper and stack (we used 2 orange pieces and 2 red pieces)
  • Grab the pile from the middle by pinching it and pick up
  • Twist the middle together
  • Put tape on the twisted end and insert into the top part of your tube, taping it inside the tube
  • Fluff the tissue paper so it looks like fire

Medals

  • Lid from canister (we used lids from canisters of chips)
  • Hole punch
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
To make the medals
  • Punch a hole in the lid
  • Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that’s a little bigger than the chip canister lid
  • Wrap the foil up around the lid and onto the back
  • Poke a hole in the foil where it is in the lid
  • Cut ribbon pieces and insert through the hole and tie together at the end

Once we had made our torch and medals we started our summer games. They walked around with the torches to signify the beginning of the games. Then it was time to play. My sports loving boys had so much fun. Their favorite activity was basketball since they got to use our new basketball hoop.

Once the sports were done it was time to pass out medals. Our summer games was the perfect family activity for a warm, summer day. We decided we are going to do this again soon and add a few sports -like gymnastics- to the competition list.

What sports would your family include in your own backyard summer games?