Olympic dreams could come true in Westmont


The subsequent winter Olympian could be proper right here in Chicago; and this weekend in Westmont, youngsters aged 9 to thirteen may have an opportunity to seek out out if it is them.

“That may be superior. Simply to go on the market and take part in it,” says 12-yr-previous Alex Munsie, who shall be amongst dozens making an attempt out for the U.S. Nationwide Luge Workforce’s Slider Search.

“It begins to get enjoyable. You’ll be able to take pleasure in simply rushing down that hill,” remarks eighth grader Pranav Viswanath.

Youngsters will take turns gliding down neighborhood streets on summer time luge sleds. They’ve wheels as an alternative of blades– however that does not make issues simpler.

“It is sort of onerous to swerve by way of all of the cones,” stated Matt Pecard.

“One time I crashed right into a ditch,” added Munsie with a smile.

The ft management steering, however in reverse instructions.

“If you wish to go proper, you push this half together with your left leg,” explains Munsie.

Olympic sleds work the identical method.

“That is how we introduce youngsters to the game,” says U.S. Junior Nationwide Luge Staff Coach Fred Zimny. Every summer time he travels the nation looking for the “proper stuff.”

“… Have excellent place from their very first run… decide up the steering in a short time… a facet of fearlessness too. We’re on the lookout for youngsters who love what they’re doing and are not actually afraid of it,” he explains, acknowledging they’re subjective traits.

In Westmont the quickest youngsters shall be cruising at 25 miles per hour. However an Olympic sled can go greater than 3 times quicker.

Nonetheless, the Slider Search has helped determine future stars. Seven of the ten U.S. Lugers on the 2014 Sochi Video games made their first runs with this program, together with Aidan Kelly.

“I used to skateboard a bunch, so it appeared like a reasonably pure transition,” explains Kelly, who now helps Zimny determine the subsequent crop of lugers.

Zimny noticed expertise in Kelly, inviting the Lengthy Island native to a winter camp at Lake Placid.

“I made a decision at that time that I needed to maintain doing this sport perpetually,” stated Kelly.

Of the tons of of youngsters making an attempt out this summer time, round 50 will probably be invited to Lake Placid for an opportunity to journey the winter sleds. Even fewer will be a part of the nationwide group.

A number of the sport’s rising stars have been found in Westmont, which hosts the Slider Seek for its fourth time this yr.

“We are available right here, we shut down streets, we inconvenience everyone. However everyone is so constructive about what we’re doing,” stated a grateful Zimny.

The slider Search runs all day Saturday and Sunday on Cass Ave. between fifty fifth and Dallas…

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