AU Press Releases

Alumnus finds ‘Olympic’ dreams with lugers

As reported in the Feb. 7, 2014 edition of The (Jamestown, NY) Post-Journal, an Alfred University (AU) graduate is getting an up-close-and personal view of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Matt Oakes ’05, serves as the senior national team athletics trainer for USA Luge. Matt is an Ellington, NY native and a Falconer Central School graduate. After he earned a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2011, Matt served as an athletics trainer at AU before joining the U.S. Luge Team in October 2012.

“What I’m most excited about,” Matt told The Post-Journal last year, “is traveling to Russia and being part of the opening ceremonies. What I’d really be excited about though is if the men’s and women’s doubles team would be on the (medal) podium. With luge, it’s dominated mostly by the Europeans, because they start sliding at a much younger age, but I think the playing field is leveling out as far as technique and hard work. The U.S. team is still pretty young, so we have a lot of hopes for the Games.” (Editor’s Note: Erin Hamlin of Remsen, NY (near Ithaca) became the first American luge racer to win a singles medal Feb. 11 when she scored an Olympic bronze medal at the Sanki Sliding Center.)