USA Luge’s Slider Search tour is set to stop off in Utica next month, with two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Erin Hamlin expected to make an appearance.
As reported by the Rome Sentinel, the city in New York is due to play host to the event on September 14 and 15.
Clinics in Utica will be held on Cornelia Street, between Court and Columbia streets, adjacent to City Hall.
Hamlin, the United States' flagbearer at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, is from the village of Remsen in New York and a recent inductee into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame.
A two-time world champion, having won the women’s singles title in Lake Placid in 2009 and the women’s sprint crown in Igls, Austria in 2017, Hamlin was also the singles bronze medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
USA Luge’s Slider Search is the official nationwide athlete recruitment tour of the governing body, targeting young athletes aged between nine and 13.
The mission of the grass-roots programme, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge junior development team.
Athletes who may progress through the team development ladder have hopes of one-day becoming members of the national and Olympic luge teams.
Over the years, USA Luge’s Slider Search has travelled more than 220,000 miles and introduced the sport to more than 25,000 young athletes.
At each series stop, guided by US Olympic and national team coaches and athletes, participants are taught the basics of riding a luge sled, including positioning, steering and stopping.
Once these skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped sleds.
Finally, athletes test their physical skills through a range of fitness tests.
Those who show promise in the summer programme are invited to Lake Placid, Park City or Muskegon to try luge on ice at a USA Luge-sanctioned training site.
The top young athletes from this group are selected for the following year’s development team.
Hamlin, 32, was identified in a 1999 Slider Search.