SUFFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — For a sport timed to a thousandth of a second, what Suffield’s Sergeant Emily Sweeney says next should be no surprise.
“I wanna get there. I want to get into the bubble and compete,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney has dreamed of the Olympics since age seven. At 10, the luge called her name, after seeing her big sister Megan slide down on it.
“I like to say that luge kind of finds you,” she said.
It found her, but she ran with it.
Competing for 18 years, with one Olympic showing under her belt, she’s Beijing bound now thanks to the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. It allows soldier-athletes to perform at the international level while also serving their nation in the military.
“I think a lot of the values and characteristics that form a good soldier and a good athlete, they really pair nicely together. So I’m lucky there’s a lot of crossover there when I think about balancing them,” Sweeney said.
She credits the support she found as a teenager in Suffield.
“That support? Honestly, I was really appreciative of that and I think I’ve carried that appreciation through my life now. Seeing how many people have helped me get to where I am,” she said.
She has advice for other girls just starting out.
“You are going to be your biggest competition in life. Don’t look to your left. Don’t look to your right. Just focus on being the best that you can be. and being a little bit better from one day to the next.”
Sweeney flies to China next week and luge is one of the first events. She said her goal is to simply have clean runs.
Spectators are not allowed because of COVID but everyone will be cheering her on from Connecticut.