COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are less than a month away. Team USA announced its final lineup of Luge athletes on January 10, naming Army Sgt. Emily Sweeney to the team. Sweeney is a Military Police Officer, assigned to the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
“I’m honestly just really proud,” said Sweeney. “No one has an easy road to get here and I am proud of myself that I was able to push through a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent the United States in Beijing.”
Sweeney has been racing in Luge for over a decade, being named Junior World Champion in 2013; along with one World Cup gold medal, five World Cup silver medals and one World Cup bronze medal.
“The challenges have come from every angle, really. It’s been unbelievable how many different challenges we, as a team, have had to face this year,” Sweeney said during a Zoom press conference after being named to the team. “I’m looking forward to that moment where I can just let it go and be in the moment, but that’s not going to happen until I’m in China.”
A Suffield, Connecticut native, Sweeney was introduced to the sport by her older sister — and fellow Olympian — Megan, and has since competed on five World Cup teams, four World Championship teams and will soon compete in her second winter Olympics. She will join team-mates Summer Britcher and Ashley Farquharson in women’s luge singles.
In luge athletes lay on their back, controlling sleds with their feet, while reaching speeds approaching 90 mph. Margins for winning are usually minimal, measured in hundredths to thousandths of a second.
Since its debut in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964, the U.S. Olympic luge team has won six medals, including three silver and three bronze. The official release of all USA Olympic teams will occur January 22 to 25.