Luge, like its winter sport cousin skeleton, involves athletes racing in a timed competition down an ice track on a sled.
Luge and skeleton athletes use the same run as bobsleigh at an Olympic Winter Games. Luge athletes hurtle down the course feet first, while skeleton competitors lie on their front and are head first down the track.
From a seated start position, luge athletes rock back and forth on fixed handles and can eventually reach speeds in excess of 85mph on the course.
The luge was included in the Winter Olympic Programme for the first time at Innsbruck 1964 and has remained there ever since. Women have competed in this event from the start and events now include a doubles event and a team relay.