Dreaded 'Curve 9' rears the nauseous conduct in Olympics luge

Rachel Axon

 |  USA TODAY Sports

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – By a time a Pyeongchang Olympics opened, bend 9 had a repute that preceded it.

Among a sliders who will tackle that curve, and a rest of a lane during a Alpensia Sliding Centre, that territory of a lane that has been many challenging.

On Tuesday, American luger Emily Sweeney spun out of control on that bend and tumbled down a track. She walked off and a on-site alloy pronounced she had no damaged bones, though she left in an ambulance.

On Sunday, German luger Felix Loch unsuccessful to win a third uninterrupted bullion award after skidding in his final run.

“The lane was in good shape,” Loch said. “I did a mistake out of dilemma 9 and that is one partial of a lane we are not authorised to do a mistake and that was a reason.”

For sports where marks can be used for decades, new ones are comparatively rare. Only 17 are now in use, with a Pyeongchang lane opening many recently.

Though bobsled, skeleton and luge had exam events before these Games, athletes in those sports learn how to best navigate marks over a march of years. So a lane here is still comparatively new, and still challenging.

“This track, it’s long, it’s fast,” pronounced Matt Mortensen, who competes in doubles. “It has some poignant betterment drops. And we do see that during certain other marks as well, though during this sold lane there is one bend that will substantially make or mangle a competition for all a disciplines, and that is bend nine.”

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The bend goes left to right though ends short, definition if athletes drive too early they’ll be pulled behind into a bend and if they drive too late they’ll strike a wall.

Critically, bend 9 sets them adult for a straightaway on bend 10 and 11 that sends them into a left-to-right bend in 12.

“I theory a new partial of Pyeongchang is how do we understanding with being airborne?” pronounced U.S. bobsled commander Justin Olsen. “Every singular lane in a universe is a same. You’re traffic with pressure, and that vigour allows for we to kind of put a sled where we wish it. But no other lane are we airborne and that’s normal. That’s a X factor.”

If sleds strike a outgrowth on a right wall during a start of bend 10, it sends them bouncing into a left wall usually as a straightaway drops away.

“It’s flattering remarkable since we fly and afterwards all of a remarkable we abruptly turn,” pronounced U.S. bobsled commander Jamie Greubel Poser said.

Added associate U.S. bobsled commander Elana Meyers Taylor, “It kind of feels like they built a tip of a lane and they built a bottom of a lane and they put them together in a straightaway.”

Tae-Hee Choi, a plan manager of a shifting centre for Daerim Industrial Corporation, that designed a track, pronounced it wanted to pattern new and severe curves that hadn’t been seen before.

“Curve 9 is really unique,” he pronounced in response to created questions from USA TODAY Sports.

“Athletes need to be means to control their sled during usually a right time – not too early, not too late and not too strongly. When a sled is not scrupulously controlled, a sled will be led towards a middle partial of a subsequent bend that won’t assistance them in slicing any time off their run.”

The U.S. bobsled group was among a countries that took an general training outing here in October. In a competition where athletes are singular to dual or 3 runs per day, time on a lane was critical.

Olsen, Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor come into a Games with around 30 runs down a track.

While bend 9 is challenging, it’s distant from a usually singular curve.

Curve dual is laid behind prosaic to a roof, lacking a concave figure and pulling sleds adult to a tip of a lane during a time when they haven’t built adult most speed.

“It’s branch out to be some-more severe than it would look,” Meyers Taylor said.

Curve 15 is identical to bend nine, promulgation sleds out of a bend to a right when a best line is to a left. Add to that an ascending entrance nearby a finish, and it can be costly.

“A lot of gullible corners, that is where people blink this track,” Humphries said. “It’s not hard. It’s not a lane that a corners are large and dangerous. Corner 9 can be since in sequence to come around a corner, we have to do some imagination driving.”

Contributing: Paul Myerberg


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