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Ron Luddington, figure skating icon


Ron Luddington influenced my success in ways that he probably never knew. Being from Delaware, I initially did not set my goals too high in the winter sport of luge. That all changed when Dorothy Baker took me on a visit to the skating rink where Ron Luddington ran a world-class training center. The similarities between the two sports—hard ice, physical challenge and the striving to perfect an individual performance—resonated with me. Ron trained his skaters to perform to the best of their abilities and become world class. The hard work was a given, but additionally, the skaters under his coaching were well-rounded and respectful. Watching them gave me an inner confidence. The 1984 Olympics was magical for Delaware, with 10 athletes making the U.S. team: eight skaters, bobsledder Tom Barnes and me from luge. It was a great personal pleasure to watch Kitty and Peter Carruthers win the silver medal in pairs skating. And for me, I finished 14th in men’s singles and 13th in doubles. This was considered good for the pioneering U.S. luge team. The greatest honor of my career was being elected to carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony. These accomplishments started with an inner confidence gained from the world-class sports program led by Ron Luddington. (Maybe the figure skaters voted for me to carry the flag.) 

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