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In pictures: On ice, downhill, 135 kilometres an hour

Canada among countries vying for first Olympic medals in luge team relay

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Luge joined the Winter Olympics program in 1964. The event has consisted traditionally of a men’s individual race, a women’s individual race and a doubles race. At Sochi this year, a fourth competition will be added – the luge team relay (mixed).

Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press

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Each country will field three sleds: a men’s single, a women’s single, and a doubles. All three sleds will slide down the Sanki track, one after another. A touch pad at the finish line must be activated by a teammate to open the gate for the next sled in line.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press

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The Sanki Sliding Center is located in the mountains of Rzhanaya Polyana, 60 kilometres northeast of Sochi on a track running 1,384 metres long, with 16 winding curves.

Sochi 2014

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Calgarian Sam Edney, shown here racing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, is the veteran on the Canadian luge squad. The 29-year-old is expected to be on the relay team in Sochi and is noted for his quick reaction time when the gate drops.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Alex Gough, also of Calgary, is expected to be the female racer on Canada’s relay team. The Sochi Games will be her third Olympics.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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Canada’s relay team in Sochi will be anchored by Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, who also race as doubles teammates.

John DiGiacomo/The Associated Press

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While team relay is new to the Olympics this year in Sochi, the event has been staged elsewhere on the international level, including the world championships last year in Whister, B.C., where Edney, left, and Gough were part of Canada’s silver-medal-winning foursome.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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