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USA Luge looking for next Olympian in Ashwaubenon

Posted at 4:25 PM, May 25, 2024

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — The 2024 Summer Olympics are right around the corner, but the USA Luge team is already searching for their next potential Winter Olympian.

  • The USA Luge team is in Ashwaubenon through Sunday holding luge clinics for kids aged 10-13.
  • Select participants will be invited to try out for the team in Lake Placid, NY.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

It’s a sport you’d usually see on the ice—not on pavement in the middle of the summer.

Luge has been a Winter Olympics staple since 1964. The USA Luge team is back the road looking for the next potential star, and Team Development Coach Aidan Kelly is leading the search.

“There’s only two places in America to do luge on ice," Kelly said. So, around 35 years ago, USA Luge realized they needed to bring the sport to new athletes.”

Kelly was recruited to USA Luge back in 2008 at a tryout event just like this one. After a career which includes an appearance in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he’s now helping kids get their start in luge.

“It’s so cool to be a part of people’s lives everywhere from their first day doing luge to…up until x amount of years later," Kelly said. "Like Talia over here, I think I was there for her first ever luge. Now she’s old enough to drive a car.”

Another one of those kids is 12-year-old Mateo Guevara-Derber from Brillion. He actually got into luge by accident.

“Last year, I thought this was going to be skeleton, and I got them mixed around," Guevara-Derber said.

He said skeleton is like luge, expect while you lay on your back in luge, you lay on your stomach in skeleton.

But, Guevara-Derber turned out to be such a good slider that he received an invite to join the USA Luge Junior D Team.

Now, in a full circle moment, he’s back in Wisconsin where it all began.

His biggest piece of advice?

“If you don’t know you should do it, just do it, try it. You never know, you might be the next Olympian," Guevara-Derber said.

USA Luge said the best way for kids to get involved is by going on their website and reading their instructions. Sunday, May 25 is the last day USA Luge will be in Ashwaubenon before they continue on to their next location. Those interested can sign up here.