Dreaded ‘Curve 9’ rears its ugly head in Olympics luge

Though bobsled, skeleton and luge had test events, athletes in those sports learn how to best navigate tracks over the course of years.

The U.S. bobsled team was among the countries that took an international training trip here in October. In a sport where athletes are limited to two or three runs per day, time on the track was critical.

Olsen, Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor come into the Games with around 30 runs down the track.

While curve nine is challenging, it’s far from the only unique curve.

Curve two is laid back flat to the roof, lacking a concave shape and pulling sleds up to the top of the track at a time when they haven’t built up much speed.

“It’s turning out to be more challenging than it would look,” Meyers Taylor said.

Curve 15 is similar to curve nine, sending sleds out of the curve to the right when the best line is to the left. Add to that an uphill coming near the finish, and it can be costly.

“A lot of unsuspecting corners, which is where people underestimate this track,” Humphries said. “It’s not hard. It’s not a track that the corners are big and dangerous. Corner nine can be because in order to come around the corner, you have to do some fancy driving.”

Contributing: Paul Myerberg