Emily Sweeney crashed during Monday’s second run of the Olympic luge women’s singles competition at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre on Monday morning and is now in 28th place among the 35 sliders heading into Tuesday’s final two rounds at the Beijing Winter Games.
The 28-year-old Portland native, who previously crashed on her final run during her Olympic debut at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was 10th after the first heat and gradually advancing on her second run.
But the final four curves victimized many of the competitors on this day and Sweeney, a two-time Olympian, was one of them. She got upended and slid across the finish line with sled in hand to keep her in the competition but well off the pace and out of medal contention.
“It’s a tough spot,” Sweeney said. “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.”
Sweeney, who spent her early years in Falmouth before moving to Connecticut, finished the second run of her return to Olympic competition in 1 minute, 2.439 seconds for a two-run time 2:01.490, third among the three-person American contingent and 4.585 seconds behind leader Natalie Geisenberger of Germany.
Sweeney had the fastest of Team USA’s first runs of the two-day, four-run competition, completing the course in 58.971 seconds to place 10th overall.
That compared with 59.972 for 26th-place teammate Ashley Farquharson and 1:00.986 for three-time U.S. Olympian Summer Britcher, who lost control of her sled near the end of the course and finished 29th.
Farquharson ended Monday’s competition as the top American and 18th overall with her combined time of 1:58.996 after a second run of 59.024 seconds. She trailed Geisenberger by 2.171 seconds.
Britcher, who is competing with a broken finger, ended the opening day in 26th place with a combined time of 2:00.142 after a second run of 59.156 seconds. That left her 3.317 seconds behind the leader.