Friday, July 3, 2009

Hello All

Hello. My name is Jared and this blog is about how I went from the heat in TEXAS to the ICE at OTC. (?) Read on to see what this means..

I have never done any blogging, so any ideas, or tips is always welcome.
My Mom (Kym) will be helping me on this and will take all the blame if I get something wrong...

Jared is a member of the USA Olympic Luge Team Jr. Development Team.
He got started on this course by chance and his love for a new challenge.

We are from Texas, were this is not much ice or snow for long around here.. Luge is not something kids here in Texas know a lot about. (Football..yes..Luge?)

I showed him a site about the USA Luge Slider Search in Lake Worth TX in the summer of 2007.
That was being sponsered by my company Uhaul.

He said that it looked like it would be fun and he was willing, if I would drive him to DFW to try out. We thought it would be a fun day trip for us and a fun experience for Jared to try something so new to him, he wanted to test his skills. He loves new challanges.

Arriving, Jared saw a huge hill with a large ramp on the top of the hill.
Standing with him and looking down that steep hill, with orange cones down the middle, I had second and third thoughts about this.

He did too.

I told him that if he did not want to do this, we could leave and go find something else to do in the area. Jared almost changed his mind, but said "Mom, I can do this!"

About that time a member of the Luge Team pulled a start (more on what this means later) and FLEW down that ramp onto the road. We watched as he laid flat on the sled, and without showing any effort, slide with such control and grace between those cones. I was in AWE!

I remember thinking 'OK. This is going to be more than Jared can do.' Skateboarding he is great at, but this is a whole different level of skills.

Jared eyes were on every move that the slider was making and turned to me and said."Oh. I want to do that”. I ask him if he was really sure about this. “Mom, its closer to the ground then my skateboard, and no steeper than Yupon." (A big hill where we live that he has skated down)

He took off to the sign up tent and got in line to try out.

The Luge Team took each kid and showed them how the sled worked. How to control it with your ankles and how to mold your body while they slide. They had them practice on the level ground, then took them ¾ of the way down the hill and lined them up.
Down they went, it was interesting. After 2 try’s each, up the ½ halfway mark they went. Again down they went with the coaches making sure that no one went to far off the road and telling each kid what they need to do to stay straight.
Then almost to the top they went. Down the came. (Gravity more than control) but speed was picking up and hearts were beating a little faster on the sidelines.
These kids where sliding down the hill and then picking up a very heavy sled and walking it back up to the top. (its Hot here)

Next up.. The ramp. After showing all the kids how to use the start ramp and understand how the sled would react. ...These kids were at it again, to the top of the hill they went. WOW, what a difference a start can make.

A few kids had to be chased by the coaches to stop from going into the ditch, but over all, they did well.

Next came the physical that each one had to do. (About 100 F. here and NO shade.)

After everything was said and done the coaches told all the kids how well they had done and that this was the last stop for the Slider Search that year. It was explained to them that they we would be informed if they made it to the next round. Only a few kids would be selected and not to be discouraged, that most had to try several times to make it the training camp.

So we waited, School started, Football season was in full swing and still we had not heard a word.

In November we received a letter stating that more than 700 children ages 11-14 tried out and approximately 80 were chosen to participate in a training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Jared was one of those selected. New York here Jared comes.

In April he flew for the 1st time by himself to Albany NY and the screening camp began.
This is where the kids showed their skills and ability on a real Luge track.

Jared also got to try Skelton & Bobsled while he was in New York. He really enjoyed his time and was so excited that I couldnt even get him to pick up the phone and call me, but twice!
He flew home after 10 days and again was told that only a few, if any would be chosen.
Now the wait was going to be harder and feel much longer. He had found a sport he enjoyed and was just as good at as Football.

In May he received another letter.

Stating that Jared had performed well again, which led to him becoming one of just eight chosen to join the Junior Development Team

Next up. Summer 2008 at OTC (Olympic Training Center) and how you cannot swim in June on a mountain lake if you are from TEXAS. ..Burr!




About This Blog


We want to Thank the following for their support of Jared

Joe Snowdon
Barbara Orenstein

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