LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - During its annual meeting on June 9, the
National Luge Committee of the United States Luge Association
met at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. The
purpose of the meeting was to receive reports from various
constituencies within the sport, vote on by-law changes,
elect Executive Board members and approve the annual budget.
Another important function of the Committee is to recognize
outstanding achievements on and off the ice.
2012 Female Athlete of the Year honors went to Erin Hamlin of
Remsen, N.Y., while Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y. was
named Male Athlete of the Year. The Team of the Year award
was given to the members of the 2012 Youth Olympic Games
relay, who took the gold medal at the inaugural event in
Innsbruck, Austria. The team included Summer Britcher of Glen
Rock, Pa., Tucker West of Ridgefield, Conn., Ty Andersen of
Alpine, Utah and Pat Edmunds of Park City, Utah.
Emily Sweeney of Suffield, Conn. was named Junior Female
Athlete of the Year, while West won Junior Male Athlete of
the Year. The Most Improved Junior awards went to Brittany
Arndt of Park City, Utah (west) and Theresa Buckley of
Allentown, Pa. (east).
Three awards are given annually by the Committee to recognize
positive attributes off the ice. Brett West of Ridgefield,
Conn. and John Porter of Presque Isle, Mich. will share the
2012 Sam Venezia Volunteer Spirit Award winner. The John
Jenkins Sports Passion Award went to Carl Schwarzer of
Manlius, N.Y., while the Justin Matarese Award (the athlete
who tries the hardest) was given to Gracie Weinberg of
In other election news, Pete Motta, who worked with USA Luge
for most of the last decade as a coach before taking a
position at Seamans Capital Management in Boston, Mass., will
serve a second consecutive term as the Executive Board
Secretary. His term will last two years.
Hamlin, Dr. Gerard Tate of Norwalk, Conn. (an expert from the
field of education), 2002 Olympic luge Race Director John
Mowery of Hope, R.I., and National Team athlete Shane Hook of
Grapevine, Texas, all won two year terms as Members-at-Large
on the National Luge Committee.
Hayward Sawyer of Sun Valley, Idaho was elected as a United
States Luge Federation Foundation Trustee. The Foundation
manages the assets generated from the 1984 Olympics, which
were granted to Olympic sport national governing bodies over
25 years ago. National Team athlete Chris Mazdzer won a seat
on the board, along with past USA Luge President and 1984
Olympian Doug Bateman of Bridgewater, N.J. Paul Covil of
Vero Beach, Fla. won an Emeritus position on the Foundation
The next major gathering in the luge world will take place
this weekend in Riga, Latvia during the International Luge
Federation (FIL) annual congress. U.S. Representatives at the
meeting will include USA Luge FIL Representative and FIL
Sustainability Committee member Dwight Bell, from Atlanta,
Ga., 2010 Olympian and FIL Athlete Representative Chris
Mazdzer, 1984 Olympian and USA Luge CEO Ron Rossi and USA
Luge Marketing Manager Dmitry Feld.