The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday in Sochi, Russia, with opening ceremonies airing Friday night. Three billion are expected to watch as teams from around the world gather in Fisht Stadium to celebrate the start of the games.
Residents of Ridgefield will gather Saturday morning, February 8, from 9:00 am to noon, to watch the luge events at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Fairfield County.
The playhouse is putting the Olympic Games on the big screen to cheer on one of their own, Tucker West. West is the youngest-ever competing member of the U.S. luge team, at 19 years old.
West's interest in luge started at an early age. His father, Brett West, built a 800-foot luge track in their backyard so he could practice. WSHU's Craig Lemoult interviewed the West family back in January just one day after they found out West would be competing in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
For more pictures of West, his homemade luge track, and the U.S. Olympic luge team visit NBC Connecticut's luge track slideshow.
Since 2011, West has won eight awards for luge related competitions. At 16 years old, he was the youngest ever start championship titleist.
WNPR's Diane Orson spoke about West with Allison Stockel, executive director of the Ridgefield Playhouse.
Diane Orson: Allison Stockel says it’s not every day that someone from your hometown competes in the Olympics.
Allison Stockel: I remember, even back in the day, when his father built the luge in their backyard, and everyone thought he was crazy. You know, it’s amazing that it went from that to him doing the Olympic trials and getting in, and we wanted to celebrate that.
Stockel is the executive director of the Ridgefield PlayHouse. The performing arts center will open its doors early tomorrow, so residents can cheer on 19-year-old Tucker West as they watch the luge events on the big screen. She says the town is full of Olympic spirit.
Our main street is very, very New England and now along the entire main street are U.S.A. Olympic flags, because it’s a small town, Ridgefield, and so everybody sort of knows everybody.
In all, eight Olympians from Connecticut are in Sochi for the games. They are, in ice hockey, Julie Chu of Fairfield;Max Pacioretty of New Canaan; Jonathan Quick of Milford; Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich; in luge, Tucker West of Ridgefield; in skiing, Mac Bohonnon of Madison, and Eliza Outtrim of Hamden; and in snowboarding, Lindsey Jacobellis of Roxbury.