Five fun questions to get to know Tucker West
Do you have pets?
My family has two dogs. We have a Yellow Lab named Bingo, and an English Mastiff named Sochi. We got Sochi right around the time that I made the Olympic team in 2014, so that's how he got his name. It turns out that Sochi actually makes for a pretty good dog name!
What would people be surprised to learn about training for the Olympics?
There's a lot of eating and sleeping involved!
The two most important things for one's training are being properly recovered and having the proper amount of nutritional fuel for the body. During heavy training loads this means eating a lot more than the body is used to, which oftentimes turns eating into more of a chore than anything else. There have been countless times where I have forced myself to eat much more than I wanted to because I knew I needed the fuel.
During heavy training loads, recovery is also incredibly important. The body recovers best while sleeping, so early bed times and naps are quite common during times of heavy training.
What does a typical day of eating look like during training?
Luge is a gravity sport, so the name of the game is always weight gain. I typically eat 4-5 meals a day during off season training, and only 3 meals a day during the season since the hotels we stay at dictate what and when we eat.
What is your earliest memory of playing or seeing your sport?
I first saw luge while watching the 2002 Olympics. I've always loved sledding and had a big "need for speed.” It was a natural match, and love at first sight!
Are there any misconceptions about your sport that you would like to clear up?
A common misconception is that lugers are doing nothing but lying on the sled. We are actually controlling the sled and driving lines to make it down the track. If you were to actually just lie there, you would probably crash within two or three curves.