International Luge Federation Officially Appoints Whistler as Host of 2021 World Championships
WHISTLER, B.C.—Luge Canada will reunite the world in Whistler once again as the International Luge Federation officially awarded the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with the 2021 World Championships.
Luge Canada was originally awarded the premiere international sliding sport event for Calgary, however, the governing body for luge in Canada requested to move the event to Whistler following WinSport Canada’s decision to close the track indefinitely earlier this spring.
“The Whistler Sliding Centre is known by sliding fans as one of the best tracks in the world, and we are thrilled Whistler Sport Legacies has stepped up to partner with us during a difficult this time for the future of our sport in Canada to host this prestigious event on the international race calendar,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Luge Canada.
“While Calgary is still a very important part of our program’s success, and we are deeply concerned and hopeful the track at Canada Olympic Park will have a future, we cannot stand still with our planning for an event of this magnitude. The Resort Municipality of Whistler are world-leaders in event hosting, and we are looking forward to bringing the world back to Western Canada.”
The announcement was made official following a vote held during the International Luge Federation’s annual Congress on Saturday in Slovenia.
The Whistler Sliding Centre previously hosted the Luge World Championships in 2013 where Canadian athletes combined to post four, top-five finishes including a silver and bronze medal in front of the home crowd.
“Having hosted the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships this past winter, we are excited to step in as the host venue for the 2021 FIL World Championships. Events of this nature are part of why our 2010 Legacies were established. We are especially excited to see many of our local luge talents who grew up on our venue represent Canada on their home track in 2021. At the same time, we are hopeful that Calgary’s track will reopen in the near future to jointly continue the legacy and successes the Canadian sliding programs have attained since 1988,” said Roger Soane, president and ceo, Whistler Sport Legacies.
The Whistler Sliding Centre has served as a new breeding ground for young Canadian luge athletes over the last decade. Two athletes on the senior squad and four junior Canadian team members, who were inspired to get their start in the sport on Blackcomb Mountain after watching the Olympic Games in their own backyard, have arrived and are now making their mark on the international stage.
A youngster in 2010, Reid Watts is the first legacy baby from the area to slide onto the elite circuit. After winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games, the now 20-year-old Watts captured the world’s attention at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang when he slid to 12th place as a teenager. Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless also racked up a couple of Crystal Globes while leading the Youth World Cup circuit in 2019.
“The results our program has shown is proof the Whistler Sliding Centre is the perfect facility to learn and develop on to have success in the sliding sports. The track is very fast and technically challenging, with safety its top priority,” said Watts. “This venue plays a critical role in our program’s success. We consistently train at high speeds and the ice is the best in the world. The Whistler Sliding Centre, for sure, is responsible for my quick development into an elite athlete and for my success early in my career. I can’t wait to be a part of the World Championships in my backyard in 2021.”
In addition to hosting the 2010 Olympics and 2013 World Championships, the Whistler Sliding Centre has played host to multiple luge World Cups events and international development level races. In addition to the 2019 World Championships, it has also hosted numerous World Cups in bobsleigh and skeleton.
Luge Canada will also host a World Cup event in Whistler, December 10-14, 2019.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.