Host City: Torino, Italy
Date Started: February 11, 2006
Date Finished: February 14, 2006
Participants: 108 (78 men and 30 women) from 24 countries
Youngest Participant: Sarah Podorieszach (16 years, 254 days)
Oldest Participant: Werner Hoeger (52 years, 59 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 12 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Germany (4 medals)
The luge events of the 2006 Winter Olympics were held at the Cesana Pariol track at Cesana Torinese 70 km west of Torino. The run was specially constructed for the 2006 Olympic Games and was completed in December 2004. The pre-Olympic test event that place in January 2005 was marred by a series of crashes including one left the Brazilian [Renato Mizoguchi] in a medically-induced coma. The track was modified for safety reasons and reopened in late 2005.
Despite these modifications the track had a reputation for being amongst the world’s fastest and most difficult to drive. The track for the men’s event was 1435 m in length with nineteen curves and a drop of 114 m from top to bottom. The start for the doubles and womens’ events came after turn three and as a result the track was somewhat shorter and measured 1233 m. Three of the curves were named after former Olympic champions, namely [Nino Bibbia], [Paul Hildgartner] and [Eugenio Monti].
Two of the three gold medals won in Torino came as no surprise with [Armin Zöggeler] retaining the title he had won in Salt Lake City before an adoring home crowd and [Sylke Otto] leading a predictable German sweep of the podium in the women’s event. The shock of the Games was the victory of the Austrian Linger brothers who beat more fancied German pairings on the way to the gold.