Teenager From Fairfield County Traveled Homemade Luge Run To Olympics

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Tucker West glides on a luge run at his Ridgefield home as a youngster. The 18-year-old will represent the United States in the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi. Photo Credit: Tucker West via Twitter

RIDGEFIELD, Conn.  – The path to Sochi and the Winter Olympics for Ridgefield’s Tucker West began in his backyard. A photo montage on  NBCOlympics.com shows where West got his start.

A photo gallery of a homemade luge run with 29 images, “An Olympian’s backyard slip ‘n slide,” was posted on the NBC site.  West became the youngest member of the U.S. luge team when he was named to the team in December.

His father, Brett, built a luge run at the family’s West Mountain Road home shortly after the 2002 Olympics. West went on to attend school in Lake Placid and is recognized for his key role in helping the luge teams get off to fast starts.

“Our blood, sweat and tears are in that thing,’’ Tucker says in the NBCOlympics.com story. “We both worked on it together every night in his [Brett's] workshop. It was a bonding moment for us, our pride and joy.”

The luge track includes a weather station, a flag with Olympic rings, electronic timing and a PA system. There is also an automatic icing system that is activated from the basement of the family home. Lugers have to climb 18 steps to begin their descent, and can reach up to 36 mph.

Click on this link to see the complete photo gallery.

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