Adam and Matt are two teenagers training and sliding out of Whistler, B.C. Adam has been sliding for 11 years and Matt has been sliding for 6. During their 2015/2016 season they became a permanent doubles team. Over the last two seasons they have been training together in the gym, and racing and training on the track, improving their strength and sliding skills. Last year they qualified for the 2016 Youth Olympic games, placing fifth in the doubles category and just missing the podium with a fourth place in the team relay.
Prior to the 2015/2016, Adam was focusing on singles luge, and Matt raced doubles with a different partner. Both Adam and Matt have won crystal globes in the Youth A age group - Adam won the overall World Cup in Youth A singles, and Matt did the same in the doubles category. While they have experience on many of the international luge tracks as youth and juniors, last season was the first year they raced together as a doubles team from the Senior starts. This coming season will be the first time that both of them will no longer have school commitments, and they are looking forward to being full time athletes during the racing season.
As Matt and Adam are based out of Whistler, the 2010 Olympic track is their home track and they are able to also take advantage of the Canadian Sport Institute's gym facilities in Whistler. They are fortunate enough to also train on the ice rink at Meadow Park Recreation Centre in Whistler. Canada's other luge track is in Calgary, and they spend several weeks per year training and racing there as well. Significantly, the Calgary training facilities also include refrigerated start ramps, which are crucial to working on start technique in the off-season.
Equipment preparation and maintenance are key skills in luge racing. Matt worked countless hours since the Spring prepping their sled for painting, building the sled's kufens (the footholds that need to be shaped to their feet), and sanding the steel runners. Matt and Adam also participate in making the spikes that then get attached to their gloves for paddling at the start of each luge track. Adam is the go-to guy for taking apart their sled for packing into their sled box for travel. He is also responsible for re-assembling it at each destination. Travelling with the sled box is interesting to say the least. Unfortunately it doesn't fit in the overhead bin on an airplane and it always gets dinged for extra baggage fees.
By the numbers: 140 kph top speed; 160 kilos total weight of team and sled; 185 kilos combined bench press; 2 big guys on a tiny sled.