Tucker West prepares to take off from the starting position. Advanced manufacturing technology is being applied to sled production, and USA Luge has high hopes that can lead to more medals at the Olympics and on the World Cup circuit. That’s been the case over the last 10 years as it has developed a much stronger relationship with an expert in metal finishing, Norton, a brand of Saint-Gobain Abrasives. Longtime supporters of the team, Norton signed on as a primary sponsor in 2009, and the level of technical assistance was taken to a new level. USA luge athletes weren’t simply getting more abrasives to use in prepping their sleds for races and working to recondition sleds between race seasons, they were going to get a crash course in advanced manufacturing. The results have been pretty impressive so far. After winning medals only in doubles luge competition at the Olympics (Gordy Sheer’s and Chris Thorpe’s silver medal and Mark Grimmette’s and Brian Martin’s bronze medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and Grimmette’s and Martin’s silver medal and Thorpe’s and Clay Ives’ bronze medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah), the U.S. has captured two medals in singles...