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Emily Sweeney | Beijing 2022 Olympic Profile

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Team USA Luger Emily Sweeney explains how she has been able to return to the luge track after a scary accident at the PyeongChang 2018 Games, and why she is excited to get back on the sled in Beijing.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

EMILY SWEENEY: I'm Emily Sweeney. And if you've read anything about my time in sport or seen anything, it has been a true sense of, like, what the word journey means. We're in a sport that's timed to the thousandth of a second. So I've been really just trying to be better every day.

There was a moment there where I kind of blacked out after I stopped moving. But I remember it all. The body is an amazing thing, and it slowed down. So it looked much more intense for the viewer than what it felt as I was going through it.

And I knew once I hit the top of the track, I knew that I was going to hit the bottom. So I had to curl my head up. And that saved me probably. I was able to walk away. And after that, I realized that I did break my neck and my back. And it was incredibly challenging. It's the most challenging thing I've ever had to go through.

And getting back on the track was also, it was big. Because I had never been afraid of luge before. But after having such a brutal crash and having-- I had never been knocked that low before by anything in life. And so putting yourself in a situation where it's possible that that could happen again is a challenging thing. Because you're very vulnerable and you understand how vulnerable you are.

But I had to do it. I felt like there was still more I wanted to do in the sport. And you just have to kind of push yourself off, literally, and try. And then every time, it gets a little bit easier.

And then-- but it's not a linear thing. It's not a start here and just go straight up to the top and life is good again. There's been a lot of highs and lows along the way.