The first international luge race took place in 1883. Twenty-one athletes from seven countries, including the United States, competed. Hotels in the Swiss resort of Davos organized the race, which took place over a 4-km (2.5 mile) road.
1953: Federation Internationale de Luge de course (FIL) is formed as the sport's international governing body.
1964: Luge makes its Olympic debut at the Innsbruck, Austria Winter Games. Thomas Kohler of East Germany wins the men's singles gold, Ortrun Enderlein, also of East Germany, wins the women's event, and the Austrian team of Josef Feistmantl and Manfred Stengl captures the doubles gold. Polish-born British slider Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski is killed during a trial run on the course two weeks before the Games begin, providing support to critics who believe the sport is too dangerous for the Olympics.
1979: A refrigerated luge run is constructed in Lake Placid, NY. The U.S. Luge Association (USLA) is formed as the sport's American governing body.
1988: The Winter Olympic Games are held in Calgary, Canada. Defending Olympic champion Steffi Walter of East Germany comes back from a .38 of a second deficit after two runs to win the women's singles gold.
1998: At the Nagano, Japan, Olympic Games, Georg Hackl of Germany wins a third consecutive gold medal in singles. He will try to become the first athlete to win four consecutive gold medals in the same individual Winter Olympic event at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.