Luger Emily Sweeney crashes out of Olympics

Sue Sweeney, left, the mother of Emily Sweeney of the United States, cries out as her daughter crashes on the final run during the women's luge final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday. (AP photo — Wong Maye-E)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — American luger Emily Sweeney, whose father is from Saranac Lake, crashed out of the Pyeongchang Olympics today, losing control of her sled midway through the final run of the competition.

There was no immediate word on the nature of Sweeney’s injury. She was able to walk toward the finish about 10 minutes after the crash, albeit very gingerly and with some assistance from team and on-site medical personnel.

Sweeney lost control around Curve 9, the track’s most treacherous spot, and then began careening all over the track. She wound up sliding feet-first up one curve toward the track roof before getting thrown from her sled and eventually tumbling to a stop.

Sweeney remained on the ice for several minutes, then was able to sit on the track wall while medical personnel tended to her. The crowd at the Alpensia Sliding Center — which had been raucous all night — immediately went silent while waiting for any sign that Sweeney was fine.

These were the first Olympics for Sweeney.

Emily Sweeney of the United States brakes after her third run during the women's luge final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday. She crashed in the fourth heat. (AP photo — Andy Wong)

Curve 9 has been a problem for sliders throughout the early portion of the Olympics, causing many to skid, lose control and lose some time. Crashes, however, have not come as often as they did in the 2006 and 2010 Games, both of which left athletes openly complaining about track safety.

Later in the final run, Summer Britcher of the United States lost control at the start and collided with some walls — but got down the track without crashing or serious injury.

Sweeney, 24, hails from Connecticut but lived at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid before buying a house in the village. Her father Larry is from Saranac Lake, and she still has family in the area, including Saranac Lake village Manager John Sweeney, her uncle.

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