Emily Sweeney of the United States crashed in what is considered to be the hardest and most treacherous part of the Olympic luge course Tuesday morning in PyeongChang. The crash happened around Curve 9 of the track, with Sweeney having started to lose control of her sled moments before. As she approached the curve, her sled went too far up one of the sides, resulting in her being thrown from her sled.
You can see the video of Sweeney’s run here.
Onlookers and fans were stunned, looking on as Sweeney took several minutes to get up.
“I’ve never been so relieved than when I saw her getting up and walking,” said Summer Britcher, an American teammate of Sweeney’s.
Sweeney told reporters she was okay as she was helped off the course and after being attended to the medical staff, was diagnosed with bumps and bruises. While she was lucky to escape serious injury, the injury was severe enough to cut her Olympics short.
“I’m very sore, and pretty stiff,” she said to NBC’s Lewis Johnson. “I’m going to get an X-ray on my back after this, but I wanted to have the last word. So thanks for all the support, you guys. It’s a bummer, for sure, and I know that I’m better than that. But here we are — it happens.”
Once competition resumed, Natalie Geisenberger of Germany won the gold medal. Erin Hamlin of America finished sixth.
Sweeney is from New England, having been born in Maine and living currently in Connecticut, and the 2018 Olympics are her first Olympic games. She is a former Junior World Champion (2013,) and multiple medalist in luge World Cup events.