LP wins bid to host luge Congress

LAKE PLACID – The world’s leaders in the sport of luge will gather in Lake Placid in June 2016, when the International Luge Federation (FIL) hosts its annual Congress in the two-time Olympic village. Officials from the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and USA Luge secured the 64th Congress during the FIL’s recent Congress held in Innsbruck, Austria.

“It will be great to have the FIL back in Lake Placid for their annual meeting,” said ORDA president/CEO Ted Blazer. “Lake Placid has a long and exciting tradition with luge and we are sure the attendees will thoroughly enjoy themselves while they are here.”

With years 2016 and 2017 still available, ORDA and USA Luge officials made their bid to host the Congress in 2016. This comes just one year after the 2018 Olympic Winter Games host city Pyeonchang, South Korea stages the event.

Thirty-eight nations attended this June’s FIL Congress. Typically, the race schedule for the next season is adopted, policies and procedures are approved and officers are elected to the Board.

“The 2016 FIL Congress will be a great opportunity to showcase Lake Placid and the Adirondack region to the international luge community,” said USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy. “I want to personally thank the great folks at ORDA for making this exciting upcoming event possible, which will undoubtedly have a positive economic impact on our community.”

During the just-concluded congress, Svein Romstad, of Atlanta, Ga., was re-elected as the FIL Secretary General. Romstad has decades of sports management experience, ranging from coaching the sport during the 1984 Olympic Games for the USA to serving as a Senior Group Manager for Meridian Management, the marketing agency for the International Olympic Committee. He was first elected to the position in 1994 and has won each subsequent election.

Claire DelNegro, of Lynnfield, Mass., also retained her position as Vice President of Sport. DelNegro most recently served as interim CEO of USA Luge last summer. Prior to that, she was an 11-year employee of USA Luge in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. DelNegro has held a number of prominent positions since she first became involved with the world of Winter Olympic sports nearly 35 years ago. She is an also a 1984 Olympian in luge, competing for Great Britain under her maiden name, Sherred. This is DelNegro’s 16th consecutive year serving as Vice President of Sport.

Ed Moffat, President of the Canadian Luge Association, was elected to a member-at-large position, bolstering North America’s presence at the FIL Executive Board. Moffat, of Calgary, Alberta, also served as the race director during the 2010 Olympic luge competitions.

Other notable re-elections the 62nd FIL Congress included President and 1976 Olympic silver medalist Josef Fendt of Germany. Austria’s Harald Steyrer was also re-elected as Vice President of Finance.

Russian three-time Olympic medalist Albert Demchenko also used the occasion to announce his retirement from the sport. The two-time European champion will serve as a coach for the Russian junior national team during the upcoming season.

The world’s top luge athletes will be in Lake Placid this winter when the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex track plays host to World Cup racing Dec. 5-6. Athletes will compete in men’s and women’s singles, doubles and team relay.