Olympic hopefuls ‘slide’ into Big Run Park

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Messenger photos by Pat Donahue
Olympic hopefuls gathered at Big Run Park May 29-30 as The USA Luge White Castle Slider Search made its annual stop at the westside park. The purpose of the event was to recruit 9-13 year olds interested in the sport of luge. If that interest turns to a passion, there are a number of levels kids can continue in until they reach a chance to compete in front of the world on an Olympic stage. Everyone has to start somewhere and a number of them, like the group pictured here, have started at Big Run Park. The Slider Search, sponsored by White Castle, travels across the country making 13 stops. Some are in parking lots, some are on barricaded streets, some are on other derby hills. Olympic Coach Aidan Kelly said that Big Run is the best stop on the tour. All of the 60 openings were filled for the two-day event. The team expects to meet as many as 750 children in their nation-wide search.
For more information, visit www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slider-search.
Here, 9-year-old Molly Hoffman of Columbus gets some steering advice from Olympic Candidate Mary Grace Richardson and Team USA Coach Aidan Kelly, who competed in the 2014 Olympics.
Alex Fredgill came from Iberia, Ohio to try out the luge training event for the first time. The 11-year-old said it was faster than he imagined.

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