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Watching the Luge World Cup

Top athletes converge at Whistler Sliding Centre

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Most countries customize their sleds to some degree, and the quality of engineering is one reason given that the German team has been so dominant over the last decade.

Because warmer blades are faster on ice, FIL keeps all of the competitor's sleds outside and measure the temperature of the blades before racing. They also weigh the sled and the sled and athlete together.

For safety, competitions can only be held to a low of -25 C.

For accuracy, timing is measured to a thousandths of a second.

For visibility, athletes must wear FIL-approved safety helmets. Athletes have the best view of any sliding sport athletes, with the possible exception of the driver in bobsleigh events.