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Planned Closure of South George Street for Olympians to give Luge Demonstrations

South George Street in York, PA; next to Byrnes Health Education Center (S. H. Smith Photo, 2014)
South George Street in York, PA; next to Byrnes Health Education Center (S. H. Smith Photo, 2014)

In 1995, everything was in place, to close three blocks of South George Street for several hours, for members of the 1994 U. S. Olympic Luge Team to give sliding demonstrations using wheeled luge sleds.  Unfortunately a constant drizzle on April 30th required a change of plans.

Instead, inside the Byrnes Health Education Center, Cammy Myler and Wendel Suckow showed hundreds of children the proper position on the sleds and explained sled control.  York International Corporation sponsored the luge clinic as one of the activities in conjunction with the Family Day Celebration at the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center.  Quoting several paragraphs from the May 1st, 1995 issue of the York Daily Record:

Crowds of people came Sunday to witness the vision of Susan P. Byrnes.  Byrnes is an emergency room nurse who six years ago committed herself to providing health education that could change lives.

“I just felt we needed to do more for prevention,” she said at Sunday’s Family Day Celebration.

Since then, Byrnes has spent her time and energy to bring her vision of the center to the public.

Community volunteers raised almost $3 million to renovate the old Stetler Dodge site on South George Street in downtown York and design a curriculum.

[Michael] Lauer, a contributor to the facility, had high praise for both the center and its founder.

“Susan has really been the driving force,” he said “She’s the one who talked them all out of their money to start this.”

York International Corporation underwrote construction of a new state-of-the-art Luge Training Complex for the U.S. Luge Team.  This facility opened October 16, 1992 in Lake Placid, New York, and features a series of refrigerated ramps where athletes can practice their starts year-round.  Myler and Suckow noted they previously practiced their starts on flat ice rinks.  It just wasn’t comparable at all with competition conditions. “Now we’re training in the most technologically advanced luge-starting facility in the world.”  See related posts: York County Company built USA Luge Team’s Secret Weapon,  Not Enough Snow & Olympic Pins,  York International & the OlympicsD. E. Stetler, J. Horace Rudy & the Dodge Brothers Emblem.

Wendel Suckow captured the first-ever gold medal for the United States in the 1993 World Luge Championships, and came in fifth in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.  Cammy Myler, a three time women’s luge Olympic competitor, was the U. S. Olympic Team’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremonies of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games.

Be sure to watch York County’s Summer Britcher as she competes in women’s singles luge during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  She is scheduled to race February 10th and 11th, 2014 in Sochi.

Summer Britcher UPDATE:

Congratulations to York County’s Summer Britcher for achieving her first career luge World Cup victory on December 11, 2015. Britcher, from Glen Rock, PA, is a luge veteran at only 21-year-old; previously competing in the 2014 Olympics. She celebrated her first World Cup win by claiming her second victory the following night in capturing the Sprint World Cup. The two wins propelled Summer to the top of the luge World Cup’s overall standings. Britcher will be wearing the yellow World Cup Leader’s vest in the following weekends luge World Cup events in Calgary, Canada.

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