The 1998 Olympic luge competitions were held on the slopes of Mount Iizuna to the North of Nagano. The “Spiral”, as the course was nicknamed, was the first artificial course to be built in Asia and was unique in that it included two short uphill sections alongside its’ fourteen curves. The start point for the men’s luge was slightly lower than that used for bobsleigh so the length of course was, at 1326 m and with a vertical drop of 1114 m, marginally shorter than that of the bobsleigh configuration. The doubles and the women’s singles events left out turn one and as a consequence were even shorter at 1194 m.
The Games belonged to Germany who swept all three titles and particularly to Georg Hackl who took his third consecutive Olympic gold. This made Hackl only the third man to an Olympic title at the same event in three successive Winter Games. In the tenth appearance of the sport at Olympic level the first medals were won by a country from outside Europe as second and third places in the doubles were won by American pairings.