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Doin' the Luge



Doin' the Luge
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.24

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    chutes, left-hand, participant, elevation, shift, banked, backs, racing, lies, steered, races, fastest, skeleton, such, bobsled, luge
     content words:    Nagano Olympics


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Doin' the Luge
By Jane Runyon
  

1     There are three Olympic events that use sleds. In the bobsled, two or four people sit together as they go down the track. In the luge, one or two people lie on their backs and go feet first down the track. The third event is the skeleton.
 
2     Let's first take a look at the track the sledders use. For the Olympics, the track is 4,708 feet long. That's just about 500 feet less than a mile. The sledders will descend 274 feet in elevation from the start of their run to the finish. During their run they will make eleven left-hand turns and eight right-hand turns.
 
3     Luge is the French word for sled. The dictionary defines a luge as a type of small sled which can be ridden by one or two people. They will be lying face up sliding feet first down snowy hillsides. They also travel down steeply banked, curving, iced chutes like those used in bobsledding. Luge sleds are steered by the riders' shifting weight. They can also pull leather straps connected to the runners or drag their feet.

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