Luge at the Youth Olympic Games: what you need to know

The most precise sliding sport at Lausanne 2020. After reaching the most breath-taking of speeds, luge comes down to the finest of margins.

Lugers can clock speeds of up to 140km/h, but races can be won or lost by a millisecond, and that is what makes luge so gripping to watch.

At the Youth Olympic Games for Lausanne 2020, women’s doubles joins the programme for the very first time, joining men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles, and the team relay in the schedule.

Olympic Channel Video: luge-sport-explainer-lausanne-2020


Luge has been an Olympic event since 1964, with a men’s, women’s and doubles event taking place at every Games before the team relay was added at Sochi 2014.

The singles events consist of two runs, with the fastest combined time winning.

That is also the case for the doubles, where intriguingly it is the heavier of the two athletes who lies on top of their team-mate for better aerodynamics.

The team relay consists of one women’s sled, one men’s sled and a double’s sled.

The team relay is exciting to watch as it uses a continuous clock. That means the next sled is only able to start its run once the rider before them has touched a pad at the finish line.

Milen Milanov BUL on the course during the Luge Men’s Single Training at the St. Moritz Olympia Bob Run | Thomas Lovelock for OIS


In luge, every millisecond counts. Really. It is one of the most precisely timed Olympic sports, and that has led to some agonisingly close finishes over the years.

At Nagano 1998, Silke Kraushaar beat her German team-mate Barbara Niedernhuber to gold after finishing just 0.002 seconds following four runs.

More recently at Pyeongchang 2018, Germany’s Johannes Ludwig claimed bronze, with Dominik Fischnaller just 0.002 seconds behind.


Friday, January 17

08:30 - 10:30 - Women's Singles

11:00 - 12:30 - Men's Doubles

Saturday, January 18

08:30 - 10:30 - Men's Singles

11:00 - 12:30 - Women's Doubles

Monday, January 20

08:30 - 11:00 - Team Relay