Luge is the French word for sledge and, like bobsleigh, it was developed as a sport in Switzerland. Its roots go back to the 16th century, but it was not until 300 years later that the first luge tracks were built by Swiss hotel owners to cater for thrill-seeking tourists. Luge is one of the oldest winter sports. It involves competitors lying on their backs on a tiny sled with their feet stretched out in front of them, and racing down an icy track at speeds in the range of 87 m/h, without brakes.
The first international race course was held in Davos in 1883, with competitors racing along an icy 2.5 miles road between Davos and the village of Klosters,