Emily Sweeney reacts after crossing the finish line in the women's singles sprint during the FIL Luge World Cup on Dec. 04, 2022 in Innsbruck, Austria.
Two-time Olympian Emily Sweeney started off the world cup luge schedule on a high note, earning a silver medal in the women’s singles event Saturday in the season opener at Innsbruck, Austria.
Sweeney became the first American woman to begin the season on the podium since 2019, when her current women’s doubles partner, Summer Britcher, won a silver medal.
Sweeney and Britcher, a three-time Olympian, finished fifth in women’s doubles . The event has been added to the Olympics for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.
“It was a really good day and my runs were pretty good,” Sweeney said. “My first run had a little bit of a bobble at the start and a really good save, and my second run was awesome.
“Team USA showed a lot of speed throughout all the disciplines today, and Summer and I had our first doubles race, which was exciting and a really great way to start off the season.”
Sweeney, a 29-year-old from Suffield, Connecticut, and a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete program, won a bronze medal in singles at the 2019 world championships in Winterberg, Germany .
Sweeney was in third place after the first of two runs with a time of 39.718 seconds, trailing Madeleine Egle of Austria. Egle posted a track record of 39.701 seconds. Sweeney’s second run of 39.686 left her .216 seconds slower than Egle and earned her the silver medal with a combined time of 1:19.404. Egle won the race with a time of 1:19.188.
“Well that was fun! What a way to start out the season,” Sweeney wrote on Instagram.. “This year’s first World Cup had some great racing yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can all do this season!”
Other Americans in the top 10 included 2022 Olympian Ashley Farquharson in seventh place (1:19.696) and Britcher in ninth (1:19.708 ).
In addition to Sweeney and Britcher’s fifth-place finish in doubles, Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler were seventh.
In men’s doubles, Americans Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander finished eighth, their best-ever result . They had the third-fastest time on the second run.
Jonny Gustafson, a 2022 Olympian, placed sixth in men’s singles Sunday, finishing with a time of 1:39.950.
The world cup travels to Whistler, Canada, on Dec. 9-10. Then, they go to Park City, Utah, on Dec. 16-17.