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Sitka Supports the USA Luge Team | PR: Team USA wins silver medal at World Championships

Sitka Creations is a sponsor of the USA Luge team.

Date: January 28, 2024
Contact: Lauren Howe, Phone 978-400-3036,   

Team USA wins silver medal at World Championships 

West, Forgan/Kirkby with fastest reaction starts in the relay  

ALTENBERG, Germany—Team USA took the silver medal at the 52nd FIL Luge World Championships team relay, securing their first podium in the discipline since the 2020 World Championships in Sochi, Russia. 

The U.S. team consisted of Summer Britcher, Dana Kellogg/Frank Ike, Tucker West, and Chevonne Forgan/Sophie Kirkby. The race marked the debut of women’s doubles in the World Championships relay. 

Team Relay  

The order of nations for the team relay is determined by overall World Cup standings based on prior events. The race kicked off with a surprisingly impressive performance from Team China. The first of the medal contending nations was Italy, followed by the United States.  

Team USA took advantage of solid and consistent runs, hitting the paddle finish in three minutes, 11.227 seconds. Three-time Olympian Britcher (Glen Rock, Pa.) was the first sled out of the start, setting the stage for Kellogg (Chesterfield, Mass.)/Ike (Lititz, Pa.). The duo secured their first spot on a World Championships relay team following their ninth-place finish in yesterday’s men’s doubles competition. They continued the momentum and hit the paddle for three-time Olympian West (Ridgefield, Conn.) to get to work. West had the fastest reaction start in the men’s heat, giving World Championships bronze medalists Forgan (Chelmsford, Mass.)/Kirkby (Ray Brook, N.Y.) the opportunity to close out strong. The pair did not disappoint, with the fastest reaction start of the discipline, placing the U.S. team in front of the Italians. 

Latvia was up next. With six medals on the weekend, their first three sleds had a slight lead built up over the United States squad. But the women’s doubles team of Anda Upite/Zane Kaluma fell behind the time of Forgan/Kirkby. At this point, the U.S. squad were guaranteed at least a bronze medal by .048 seconds.

The German team were next up and used their home track advantage to move in front of the United States. With nine medals on the weekend, the Austrian team were the favorites to take gold, but small mistakes by the first three sleds placed them behind the German and United States teams. Selina Egle/Lara Kipp had the Austrians in contention halfway through their run, but major trouble at the bottom of the track knocked them out of medal contention.  

In the end, team Germany’s Julia Taubitz, Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt, Max Langenhan, and Dajana Eitberger/Saskia Schirmer were crowned relay champions with a time of 3:10.869, while Latvia’s Elina Vitola, Martins Bots/Roberts Plume, Kristers Aparjods, and Anda Upite/Zane Kaluma took bronze at 3:11.275.  

The Chinese team placed a career-high fifth in 3:14.413.  

Women’s Singles 

With Germany’s Julia Taubitz and Austria’s Madeleine Egle the favorites for gold going into the race, it was Egle’s teammate, Lisa Schulte, who was the surprise of the day.  

Schulte earned gold and her first World Championships medal in 1:43.901. The sprint World Champion Taubitz was second in 1:44.005, with Egle third in 1:44.076. Germany’s Merle Fraebel had a difficult first run but set a track record of 51.786 in the second heat. She finished in fifth place. 

Three-time Olympian Summer Britcher (Glen Rock, Pa.) was consistent throughout the day. She pumped her arms in the air as she crossed the finish line on her second run and finished the day in eighth with a time of 1:44.581.  

Emily Sweeney and Ashley Farquharson struggled throughout the competition. Farquharson (Park City, Utah) placed 19th with a time of 1:45.143 following a series of challenges on both runs. Sweeney (Lake Placid, N.Y.) had a rough first run and missed a left-hand paddle at the start of her second run. She finished in 20th in 1:45.180. 

Team USA reactions on team relay 

Tucker West: “It’s really exciting and getting four sleds down the hill with clean runs is no easy feat. I’m really proud of the team and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.” 

Summer Britcher: “I’m so excited about the race today and to be racing with all these awesome people next to me. What a great way to end the weekend, and I’m so excited to see what comes next!” 

Frank Ike: “This was our first World Championships as a doubles team, and to be able to pull through to get a relay spot, and then come through with a medal, feels really good.” 

Dana Kellogg: “As Frank said, this is our first Worlds, and to come away with a silver medal feels great.” 

Chevonne Forgan: “I was so excited with our finish today. We put together a solid run just like everyone else and we are so happy with the silver medal.” 

Sophie Kirkby: “We are so happy that we got the silver medal! Thank you so much to all our sponsors. We couldn’t get here without you.” 

For more results on the 2023-2024 World Cup season, visit 

The EBERSPÄCHER Luge World Cup continues February 3-4 in Altenberg, Germany. To live stream the races and to view archived competitions, please visit the FIL’s YouTube channel: The entire World Cup and World Championship season can be accessed from this portal.  

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