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Lugers take 1st Sochi Olympic training runs

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TIM REYNOLDS | February 4, 2014 07:24 AM EST | AP


KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Luge athletes at the Sochi Olympics have taken their first formal training runs down the track.

Most of the Olympic qualifiers took up to three runs down the ice Tuesday, part of a systematic training session where sliders had the opportunity to acclimate to the track by sliding from lower start positions than usual.

First-time Olympian Kate Hansen of the United States says it was "a cool, cool thing" to finally be on the ice. Luge competition at the Sochi Olympics starts Saturday with the first two runs of the men's event.

The first medals in luge will be awarded Sunday.

Many sliders said the ice was in pristine condition for Tuesday's training, very smooth and very fast.