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Olympian Julia Clukey visits MVHS
Julia Clukey poses with a group of MVHS juniors and seniors who appreciated her message. They include (front row) Ali Carlton, Katie Puiia, Clukey, Elizabeth Adley, and Ellie Hall (back row) Jordan True, Abby Day, Kaitlyn Virgin, Abby Pinkham and Stephanie Cushman. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Forbes)
RUMFORD -- Olympian Julia Clukey of Scarborough visited Mountain Valley High School recently.
She presented on behalf of the Keeping Students Safe program for juniors and seniors. Clukey participates in the sport of luge. She started at age 13 and has been on the 2010 Olympic team, and won two silver medals in the World Cup Tour, as well as many other accomplishments.
Like many people, Clukey did not know what the sport of luge was until she actually tried it, and look where that has brought her. “I realized how important it is to try new things and take chances in life,” Clukey said.
Though she tasted success very early, like anyone, Clukey has had to deal with some major setbacks. She advised, “There is a fine line between expecting greatness and accepting failure.”
After going through a major surgery and having a long recovery period, Clukey talked about how she realized just how passionate she was about the sport of luge by how hard she worked to get back up again. “You have to be ready for anything and stay focused,” Clukey added, “Set goals, never limit yourself!”
One of her main lessons was that people, especially high schoolers, need to see how important it is to push themselves. “You’re the only one who can decide how far you’ll go or how far you hold yourself back,” Clukey stated, “Life is awesome!”
Clukey was asked about how she dealt with the party scene in high school. She remarked, “It was definitely there, but I was so focused on my sport that it made my decision (to avoid it) that much easier.”
Since setting goals for oneself was one of the main points Clukey had to offer, she was asked what her current goal is. She replied, “My current goal is to make the U.S. Olympic Team, and to get the fastest woman’s start.”
Clukey’s presentation taught everyone how if you are willing to put forth the effort, hard work, and make sacrifices for your passion, it will pay off. The only person that can hold you back is, essentially, yourself.
Senior Christa Vattes commented, “It was an interesting presentation because we got to hear about how Julia pushed through hardships all for her passion. I liked learning about the sport of Luge as well.”
Clukey spoke about the importance of hard work, “The work I put in was what I owned myself. No one could take that away from me.”
Junior Sara-Mae Parlin said, “I didn’t see what the presentation had to do with keeping students safe, but over all there were lessons learned. I liked what she taught us about hard work and trying new things.”