WCU Grad Looks to Leverage Olympic Success in Luge to Build America’s Reputation in the Sport

man resting his arm
Image via April Saul, Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jim Leahy.

While luge is traditionally a European-dominated sport, Jim Leahy, a West Chester University graduate and CEO of USA Luge, seeks to steer it into another direction. He has labored to help the U.S. gain prominence in the high-speed competition, starting with the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Matt Breen careened through the particulars for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Leahy, who previously worked for both the Phillies and 76ers, started his current post in 2013 not knowing much about luge.

Since then, he has advanced its profile significantly. He has helped generate around $600 million in funding to rebuild the training facility in Lake Placid from the state of New York last year. He has also secured a TV deal with NBC and strengthened the search program that seeks out future Olympians.

Currently, he is in Beijing, hoping to continue the medal-winning streak for the third Olympics in a row.

“Just getting to the Games and this being my third Games, once you’re there and you’re not only heading up your own team but you’re part of the whole U.S. delegation, it’s pretty special,” he said.

Luge is a Swiss sport that was formally organized in the 1800s. Teams of one or two athletes traverse an icy course on their backs, steering the sled using precise shifts in body weight. It is a timed event in which competitors reach speeds of 80 m.p.h.

Read more about Jim Leahy in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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