The last time Emily Sweeney raced down an Olympic luge track, she was involved in a horrific crash on her final run, breaking her neck and back.
The 2018 crash in PyongChang came in her final run of the women's singles luge. She lost control of her sled, wildly skidding up and down the icy wall of one of the turns before she slammed into the top of the track and eventually shooting to the bottom edge, where she collided with the wall.
Sweeney, who grew up in Suffield, came to Beijing to face down that demon, and Monday she began her quest to finish four clean runs at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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It wasn't to be.
After a good first run, Sweeney sat in 10th place, her highest position ever at an Olympics.
As Sweeney tore down the track in her second run, she was thrown from her sled after rolling to one side as she came to turns 13 through 16. She was able to hold on to the sled through the finish line, which means she was credited with completing the run, though any momentum she had after the first run was gone.
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“It’s a tough spot,” Sweeney told USA Luge after her run. “You have to come out right. If you’re not correct coming out, the track dips away and then you’re weightless a little bit and so if you’re crooked a little bit in your sled, or if you’re not in a great spot, it’ll get you.”
She was not injured and now sits in 28th place out of 34 lugers in the competition.
Sweeney will be back on the track Tuesday for the third run of the women's singles luge but she will need to finish in the top 20 after that run to advance to the final run on Tuesday. You can watch runs 3 and 4 livestreaming here beginning at 6:50 a.m. ET Tuesday.