Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Date Started: February 10, 2002
Date Finished: February 13, 2002
Participants: 110 (81 men and 29 women) from 26 countries
Youngest Participant: Lee Hak-Jin (16 years, 175 days)
Oldest Participant: Anne Abernathy (48 years, 307 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 12 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Germany (5 medals)
The luge events of the 2002 Winter Olympics were held at the Utah Olympic Park bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track at Park City, Utah which is fifteen miles east of Salt Lake City. Construction of the $25,000,000 track began in 1994, before Salt Lake City was announced as the host city for the 2002 Games, and was completed in December 1996. It was officially opened in January 1997 and regularly hosted World Cup events in the four seasons before the 2002 Olympics
The luge run has seventeen curves, two more than the bobsleigh track, and the courses converge after curve two of the bobsleigh configuration in the case of the men’s singles and curve three for the doubles and women’s singles events. The men’s course measures 1316 m with an average gradient of 8.1% and the women and doubles race on a shortened course of 1140 m with an average gradient of 6.8%. Before the 2010 Olympic track at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada was opened the Park City track was regarded as the fastest in the world.
Much of the interest around the 2002 Luge competitions centred on the attempt of Germany’s Georg Hackl to become the first person to win the same event at four successive Winter Olympics. Although this was thwarted by Italy’s Armin Zöggeler Hackl placed second and won his fifth medal in five attempts. Hopes were high that the USA would win a first ever gold medal in this sport in the doubles, but both this event and the women’s singles went to Germany. Germany’s women were particularly outstanding and swept the podium with almost ridiculous ease.