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American luger Emily Sweeney walks away from scary crash

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4 days ago

Luge - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Singles competition - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Emily Sweeney of the U.S. walks after crashing. © ARND WIEGMANN/Reuters Luge - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Singles competition - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Emily Sweeney of the U.S. walks after crashing.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) -- American luger Emily Sweeney avoided serious injury in a frightening crash that knocked her out of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Tuesday during the final heat of the competition.

The diagnosis was that Sweeney had only some bumps and bruises.

"I'm OK," Sweeney said.

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.

Many in the crowd looked at the monitors, horrifed. The stands were filled with fans cheering raucously, and they immediately went silent waiting for some sort of sign that Sweeney would be all right.

It took several minutes for Sweeney to get to her feet, then several more before she could finally start a slow walk to the finish area -- surrounded by team and on-site medical personnel.

"I've never been so relieved than when I saw her getting up and walking," said American teammate Summer Britcher, choking back tears.

These were the first Olympics for Sweeney.

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, Britcher lost control at the start and collided with some walls -- but got down the track without crashing or serious injury.

Related slideshow: Best of 2018 Winter Olympics (Provided by photo services)

Nick Goepper of the United States celebrates after his final run during the Freestyle Skiing Men's Ski Slopestyle Final on day nine of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 18, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. 2018 Winter Olympics

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