Current Norton 3 X USA Luge Junior National Champion, Ashley Farquharson, has been on a luge sled since she was just 11 years old. Now at age 20, with a top speed of 80 MPH, Ashley has set her sights on the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
How did you get into luge?
I actually got into the sport through an after-school program at Ecker Hill Middle School. For three Fridays in a row we would go up after school to the UOP. I fell in love with the sport, I really loved going fast! I was named to the Junior National Team at
15. After that, everything spiraled and I started competing internationally. After I graduated from high school in 2017, I was named to be part of the Olympic selection pool, so they gave me permanent residency at the Olympic training center.
How much time do you spend training?
I split my time between Park City and the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. The season starts on September 30th in Norway. Our competitive season starts in Lake Placid the last day of November.
How do you control your sled?
Our sleds are very complex and individualized. There are three main parts of steering; we have handles for subtler steers, we can use our shoulders and our legs for heavier steers or “drives.” We also start seated on our sleds and pull off handles to start our run. The faster your pull, the more speed you can generate down the track. It all requires a lot of shoulder, leg and core strength.
Have you ever crashed?
I get this question a lot and the answer is yes! You tend to crash a lot when you are younger and so the coaches teach you how to crash so you don’t get hurt. Of course, there is freak stuff that happens, but most of the time you just hit a curve too early and flip your sled. It’s just more annoying than anything else.
What misconception do you think people have about luge?
Growing up, I never got bored of luge like I did with basketball or soccer. I have been in this sport for 10 years, every track, every week is different. It is such a fun sport! You get excited to go as fast as you can.
by Aimee Cook