Saturday, February 13, 2010

Designed by an Olympian . . . Open To Mortals!

Okay, so Muskegon isn't above the 45th or the Big Mac. So sue me! Why am I blogging about Muskegon?

Because it is home to an amazing luge run and the Winter Olympics started yesterday - that's why!

And because what's more U.P. North than hurtling down a frozen track on a piece of wood on runners with nothing between you and an instant brain concussion then shear luck and a little skill?

And because a 39-year-old man with a receding hairline spoke this week in Vancouver of discovering his life's purpose as a teenager when heavy machinery invaded his neighborhood park.

"There were some bulldozers tearing up my favorite sledding hill, and I asked them what they were doing," said Mark Grimmette, a five-time Olympian from Muskegon, Mich. "They said they were building a luge track."

Twenty-five years later, Grimmette's teammates elected him to carry the U.S. flag in Friday's 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. He competes in doubles luge, a discipline that requires men to lie atop one another on tiny rudders going 95 miles per hour, in a sport so obscure it holds annual recruitment drives.

If you think sledding is exhilarating then you need to try your hand luging at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex where you can play Olympian for the day. The price of admission comes with elbow pads, a helmet, and a well-maintained luge sled. An instructor carefully goes over each part of the sled with a beginning slider and teaches easy to learn methods of steering the sled.

Footnote: If you are thinking of heading to Muskegon to try the luge out first hand please note that there is a Health Insurance and Waiver Requirement – A signed waiver by participant (and guardian if under 17) and proof of health insurance is required before participating in the *Muskegon Learn To Luge* program. An insurance card or photocopy of card is required. No Exceptions.

Head on over to for more info. Let me know when you are going - I'll meet you there!

No comments: