President attends 50 years of Luge at Olympic Games

16 July 2014 16:07
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FIS President Gian Franco Kasper was one of many honoured guests that helped the International Luge Federation (FIL) celebrate 50 years of Luge at the Olympic Winter Games at a gala in Innsbruck (AUT) during the 62nd FIL Congress.

President Kasper in his capacity as AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sport Federations), along with Dr. Karl Stoss, President of the Austrian Olympic Committee, provided the welcoming speeches for the guests. In addition, IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach recorded a video message for the delegates, whilst President Kasper presented the official IOC gift on his behalf.

Numerous former leading lugers were on hand to enjoy the festivities. The major names included: Ortrun Zöphel-Enderlein, the first gold medal winner at the 1964 Olympic luge première in Innsbruck,  Gerda Weißensteiner (gold medal in 1994), Natalie Geisenberger, who took the podium’s top spot at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Thomas Köhler, Paul Hildgartner and Jens Müller – the 1964, 1984 and 1988 Olympic Champions.

All guests greatly enjoyed the reunion in Tyrol’s capital Innsbruck, host of three Olympic events (1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games as well as the 2012 Youth Olympic Games).

In his speech FIL President Josef Fendt, re-elected for a fifth term of office shortly before, outlined the Olympic beginnings of the sport of luge and made the link to the brilliant première of the FIL Team Relay event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in February.