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Long Island

Jay Venini turns backyard into Olympics-inspired luge track

Man builds Olympic-style luge track in LI backyard

A Long Island man brought a taste of the Sochi Olympics back to his own backyard this winter by creating his very own luge track.

Jay Venini of Northport said it all started with a slide.

“I’m not really sure why, but I decided I could make a slide going down the stairs,” Venini said.

While shoveling his driveway after the first snowstorm of the year, Venini started piling snow onto the stairs.

But as the snow continued to fall, the slide slowly turned into a luge track, inspired by the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“During the Olympics I watched the luge just to see the track and how they made it work though the turns,” he said.

With help from a friend, Venini turned the slide into a luge, shaped it with high snow banks and then sprayed it down with a garden hose to form a slick sheet of ice on it.  

Once the luge was perfected, Venini invited his niece and nephews, along with his friend’s kids, to take a slide. 

“The kids had so much fun that I used my GoPro camera and shot the footage of them riding it,” Venini said. “Capturing their smile and facial expression while riding was amazing to see.”

A YouTube video of the backyard luge, called “Looney Luge,” has been viewed more than 315,000 times since it was posted on March 1.

The video shows the final version of the luge, finished in February.

When people ask Venini how he came up with the idea to build the luge, he said he thinks of the pure joy of his nephew's face.

"To be a kid again; maybe that's how the luge came to be?"

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