|Posted by lugenz on January 13, 2012 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
Buried under the snow at Igls/Innsbruck Olympic Sliding Centre, the site of the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton at these 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games, are the remains of the track that was used for the 1964 Olympic Winter Games (OWG) sliding events. In 1964 the track wasn't refrigerated and it wasn't until the 1976 OWG, also at Innsbruck, that the Olympic sliding athletes first experienced a refrigerated track. The world's first refrigerated track was opened literally down the road in Konigssee/Germany in 1969. Prior to refrigeration the tracks were shaped out of snow and ice with corners often being made of bricks (see following picture) in which large ice blocks cut out of local lakes were packed and then shaped to provide safe profiles for the corners. With all the snow we have had the old track looks like it could be made operational if the refrigeration was to fail on the new track! The old unrefrigerated tracks were bumpy and nothing like the smooth tracks of today. And of course the speeds of today are much greater due to the condition of the track and the huge advancements in sled and equipment technology.
|Posted by lugenz on January 13, 2012 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
Matheson completed the first three of his six official training runs this morning. There was snow overnight and light snow during the early part of the training. For this training the athletes were split into two groups with 15 sliders in Matheson's Group A. Matheson placed 13th twice and 15th in his three runs. He reached a top speed of 101.4kph and on his 2nd run was 1.535 seconds ...behind the fastest slider. The fastest in the three runs were Latvia's Riks Rozitis (1st run), Germany's Christian Paffe (2nd run) and Latvia's Rihards Lozbers (3rd run). He has his final three training runs tomorrow morning.
This evening is the opening ceremony which will be held at the famous Bergisel Ski Jumping Stadium that over looks Innsbruck and was the site of the opening ceremony for the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games. It will be the only stadium to have welcomed Olympic athletes three times.
Alex Ferlazzo (Australia) and Matheson Hill (New Zealand) in the luge start house before this morning's first three (of six) official training runs.
|Posted by lugenz on January 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
Today Matheson walked the track and then had one familiarisation run down the track. We also got to meet up with the International Luge Federation (FIL) coaches (Ioan from Romania, Petr from the Czech Republic, Kaspars from Latvia, Koji from Japan and Fred from the USA) who are helping the athletes from the smaller countries during the games. Petr and Kaspars coached Matheson and the... rest of our team in November and December last year. They checked out Mathesons sled work (passed their inspection!) and then Ioan took Matheson, Alex (Australia) and Alexander, "call me Sacha" (Bulgaria) on a walk beside the track to remind the boys how to tackle each corner. They all then successfully completed their run and tomorrow will get three further training runs, followed by three more on Saturday before racing on Sunday. NZ Chef de Mission (Peter Wardell) and Jake Wilkins from the NZ Olympic Committee came and watched the training and to learn abit more about luge. Thanks guys!
Ioan Apostol (coach) making a point to Alexander, "call me Sacha", Alex (Australia) and Matheson, watched by Australian official Hannah (2006 and 2010 Olympian) during this morning's track walk.
|Posted by lugenz on January 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Today we headed up to the track to take a look around and do some sled work. The first thing we had to do though was locate Matheson's sled. Sleds are not allowed in the Olympic Village and when we checked into the Village the sled had supposedly been dispatched to the luge track to be waiting for us in our designated workshop (container). Well is wasn't there. After about 2 hours of friendly discussion with the staff at the track it was finally located at the adjacent ski area. So it ended up being a shortened session of sled work. The weather was outstanding today and we saw the mountain tops for the first time.
This evening we had our official team function at a small restaurant overlooking the city of Innsbruck. In addition to our team guests included NZ IOC member Barry Maister, the NZ Ambassador from Vienna and a number of parents.
At the Olympic Village Matheson and Geoff meet mascot Yoggi.
|Posted by lugenz on January 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Innsbruck-Igls (pps) A total of 21 member federations of the International Luge Federation (FIL) have qualified with at least one athlete for the premiere of the inaugural edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Innsbruck-Igls, January 13-22. This is the result of the qualifying events as reported by the Chairman of the FIL Sport Commission, Sepp Benz of Switzerland. “We are especially happy that Australia and New Zealand have qualified so that all four continents with FIL Member Federations will therefore be represented at the Youth Olympic Games,” said Benz who is also Chairman of the FIL Youth Commission. A total of 24 women, 25 men and 11 doubles teams will compete at the Youth Olympic Games.
Eleven member federations have qualified with at least one athlete in the women’s and men’s singles as well as a doubles team so that they can build a team to compete in the Olympic premiere of the Team Relay Event. Allowed – and specifically welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – are mixed-gender teams. However, only athletes from a maximum of two national member federations are allowed to build such a team. After the end of the qualifying events the following national member federations will be represented at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games with at least one participant:
Latvia (LAT), Canada (CAN), Austria (AUT), Germany (GER), Russia (RUS), the United States of America (USA), Ukraine (UKR), Slovakia (SVK), Italy (ITA), Australia (AUS), Poland (POL), Bulgaria (BUL), Chinese Taipei (TPE), New Zealand (NZL), Switzerland (SUI), Roumania (ROU), Kazakhstan (KAZ), Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), Czech Republic (CZE), Norway (NOR) and Croatia (CRO).
|Posted by lugenz on January 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) Day minus 4 (i.e. 4 days until the opening ceremony). We moved to the Olympic Village today, well Matheson did but Geoff and some of the other team officials are staying at a hotel near the village as it turns out the village isn't big enough. We got inducted into the village with a NZ pack of goodies and other things, cuaght up with Chef de Mission Peter and his assistant Evelyn. We also met our to volunteer assistants, Nadia from Innsbruck and Grit from Berlin. Geoff also went and collected Matheson's new racing suit. This afternoon many more of the NZ Team arrived and we will have dinner with them tonight. There is heaps of snow around!
|Posted by lugenz on January 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
NZ Luge at the Youth Olympic Games is the result of a team effort. While Matheson Hill is our representative at the Games, Andrew Scott, Josh Steele and Tyler Cathro-Carson should all take some credit as they were members of the NZ Junior Team that trained and competed together in North America in January/February and November/December last year. It was this effort that provided the platform for Matheson, the only athlete in the required 2 year age band, to meet the qualification requirements. Additionally Guntis Rekis (coach), Jock Scott (January/February manager), Mark Hill (November/December manager) and the boy’s families, friends, sponsors and funders, especially those from the Maniototo Community, who helped raise a significant funding should also take significant credit.
|Posted by lugenz on January 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
While New Zealand basks in summer the alpine city of Innsbruck/Austria gears up for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games (13 to 22 January). With Innsbruck already acting as host city for the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976, it is now set to welcome the Olympic Family for the third time.
The event will bring together 1,059 top athletes aged 14 to 18 from over 60 nations to compete in the seven sports which will also be represented at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi/Russia. As well as the sporting competitions themselves, these young athletes will also have the chance to participate in a Culture & Education Programme (CEP) designed to raise participants’ awareness of the Olympic Values and address topics including Olympism, skills development, well-being & healthy living, social responsibility and expression through digital media. With youngsters from the local region also invited to be a part of this cultural initiative, the CEP is set to be the platform for an intercultural exchange of opinions and experiences, transforming the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games into a unique festival of sport and culture.
New Zealand’s only luge representative at the 1st ever edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games is Matheson Hill, currently of Dunedin but soon of Christchurch. Hill becomes the first “graduate” of Naseby’s Ice Luge Track to compete at an Olympic level and does so after earning the right to compete in Austria at four Junior World Cup races in the USA, Canada and Austria during November 2011. Hill joins Australia’s Alex Ferlazzo, also a Naseby Luge “graduate”, as luge representatives from the Oceania content. Hill will be part of a fifteen strong New Zealand team competing in biathlon, curling, ice hockey, luge, skiing and snowboarding.
|Posted by lugenz on March 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM||comments (0)|
Hey everyone troops needed on Saturday 12th March and Saturday March 26th to get a a number of projects sorted before the season starts.
Refer to our latest newsletter (available to download on this page)
|Posted by lugenz on February 13, 2011 at 7:57 PM||comments (0)|