All About the Luge

All About the Luge
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.76

     challenging words:    squashed, govern, literally, coaster, fastest, meaning, backs, against, during, especially, dangerous, male, such, steering, difficult, control
     content words:    Winter Olympics

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All About the Luge
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman

1     Riding a roller coaster can be lots of fun. If you like speed and being thrown around steep curves and over tall hills, riding a roller coaster can be a lot of fun. Some of the world's fastest roller coasters travel at speeds greater than 140 kilometers an hour. At that speed, a roller coaster can make you feel like you're being squashed against your seat. Of course, if you don't like speed and hate being thrown around and squashed, a roller coaster can be pretty scary.
2     There's an Olympic sport that has a lot in common with roller coasters. This event is called the luge. Just like a roller coaster, luge athletes, called sliders, ride around a curved track made of ice, sometimes traveling as fast as the world's fastest roller coasters. But sliders ride on a sled on their backs, just centimeters off the track. As you can imagine, it can be an especially dangerous sport. But it's also a lot of fun to watch.
3     Luge is the fastest of the three Olympic sled sports, which include luge, skeleton, and bobsled. The word luge is French, meaning "sled." If you've ever been snow sledding, you're already familiar with some of the basics of a luge sled. It has a flat part on top, where the slider lies down. Underneath, there are two metal blades - called runners - that run the length of the sled. The runners are the only part of the sled that ever touches the ice.

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