Reagan Lauscher and the rest of Canada's luge team traded in their steel runners for rubber wheels yesterday.
In an effort to get more training under their belts with the Olympics looming large on the horizon, the lugers slid down an ice-free Canada Olympic Park track on wheels.
Lauscher said the team hasn't done summer training for a couple of years but it's good preparation for the upcoming season.
"It doesn't drive the same as it does on ice but it's good for position and aerodynamics and it helps you stay relaxed while getting used to the corners, the feel of the sled and the G-forces on our necks, so that's what we're focusing on more so than driving," said Lauscher, 25, who won a silver medal on the World Cup circuit last year.
To say the veteran is focused on the Turin Olympics in 2006 is an understatement.
These days Lauscher is thinking about nothing else, especially since she graduated in June from Mount Royal College's journalism program.
"I don't think I've been this focused ever before. I think about Torino every day. I think about the start. I think about the curves. I go to bed dreaming about that track but athletes who've won Olympic gold do that," Lauscher said, adding the Turin track is perfectly suited for her to go fast and do well.
The talented slider has never had the best start, which is crucial in the sport of luge, but this summer Lauscher hit the weight room and bulked up.
"I'm definitely the strongest I've ever been and I'm improving on my starts in the Ice House," said Lauscher. "I'm still not the fastest yet at the start but it all matters and it all adds up, so hopefully it can translate to a jump on the track."
Lauscher and Jeff Christie have basically made the Olympic team, pending a good result on the World Cup circuit, which begins in Latvia on Nov. 5.
The other spots are up for grabs and Tim Farstad, the executive director of Luge Canada, said those with the best World Cup results will make the team.