Luge first appeared at the Olympic Games in 1964.
Since then, it's earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous Olympic sports, as lugers can reach speeds of up to 86 miles per hour -- all with very little protective covering.
Today, four Olympic luge events are contested. In fact, 2014 will mark the inclusion of a new luge event: the relay. Read below to learn more about each of the events.
The singles events feature single athletes riding on a sleigh by themselves. The events, which are held for both men and women, take place over the course of two days. The rider takes two runs per day and at the end, the four times are added together. The athlete with the fastest total time wins.
Doubles refers to the event with two riders. This event takes place on a single day with each team taking two runs. The total time from the two runs is added together and the team with the fastest time wins. According to the rules, the teams can be made up of two men, a man and a woman, and two women. Almost unfailingly, however, the teams are made up of two men.
The relay event will be held for the first time at the 2014 Olympic Games. The teams are made up of a female single rider, a male single rider and a team of double riders. The female takes the first turn, followed by the male and then the double team. When a luger reaches the bottom of the run, he or she hits a pad to release the next luger. The team with the fastest total time wins.
Sandra Johnson has covered three Olympic Games, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.
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