It was a mixed opening day of Olympic Luge competition for American, Emily Sweeney. The Portland, Maine native and active US Army Sargent, Sweeney got off to a very respectable start in the first of the four run competition. She found herself 10th out of 34 competitors.

However, the second run would get away from her, specifically on the final turn of the very difficult and speedy Yanqing National Sliding Centre track.

Sweeney now has the Herculean task of trying to climb back in to the top-20 to qualify for the fourth and final run. She will need to find at least two seconds in the third run, and probably a little help to move on.

However, Sweeney has already had a very successful Olympics, no matter what her results may end up being.

Sweeney has won just by being there, considering her path. Sweeney ended up breaking her neck in her final run at the 2018 Olympic Games, and there would be questions if she would ever compete again.

However, her grit and determination got her back training and onto the Olympic team for one more shot. Even though it won't be the results she's looking for, it's still an incredible story of perseverance. This is truly what the Olympic spirit is all about.

It doesn't end there, though. Sweeney also got to watch her boyfriend, Dominik Fischnaller of Italy, win the bronze medal in the men's luge competition. The two even got to share an embrace at the finish line that was picked up by the television cameras.

Luge - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 2
Getty Images

Congratulations to Emily for showing us what being a true Olympian is all about. While, we always love a gold medal performance, stories like Emily's can be even more special. We wish her the best the rest of the way.

To find our more about Emily and other US Army World Class Athletes, you can click here.

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