Addison Inman and her father pose at the Team USA training facility in Lake Placid, New York, in December.

 

Addison Inman has dreams of Olympic goldThe Camano Island 13yearold was recently selected to join Team USA Luges Junior National Team“I was excited, pretty happy and surprised,she saidAddison is one of the 76 athletes at various levels named to the 202021 Junior National Team and Junior Cand D teams. She will start out on the D team, said Gordy Sheer, a spokesman for USA Luge and a 1998 Olympic silver medalist. : Its the first rung on the ladder,Sheer said of Addisons progress. She will be learning the basics. Evaluated to see skills, coachability, strength, and attitude. Its where we start to see how they can develop as athletes.” 

Addison was among 40 or so 9to 13yearolds to participate in Team USA Luges Slider Search program in May 2019 on the soap box derby track at Arrowhead Ranch on Camano IslandAn Olympic sport since 1964, luge consists of athletes sledding down a track of ice at speeds of about 90 mph at top levels of the sport. This off-season, the I Slider Search reached about 900 kids across the country looking for future Olympic athletes in the sport, but it was the organization’s first time in the Stanwood-Camano area.  It was there that Addison first tried luge, though on wheels rather than ice. Kids received instruction from Olympic sledders John Fennell and Aidan Kelly, who each competed in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. 

We would have never got into luge without Randy and Marla (Heagle, owners of Arrowhead Ranch) helping to bring the Slider Search here,said Danielle Inman, Addisons mother. We have had a huge lifechange because of it.” From that event, Addison was chosen to attend a three-day training camp in December in Lake Placid, New York. “I was very serious about it and (had) a positive attitude,” said Addison, who also had one of the fastest times. “It’s cold, but fun. It’s way different on the ice – way faster, more twisty and takes a lot of muscles.” 

She said shes fallen for the sportI like adrenaline. I like to go fast,Addison said. I want to go to the Olympics. Now, I just need to be the best that I can be and move my way up.” Addison and her family are now raising funds to help pay for her travels, which include seven weeks of training in the winter at Lake Placid, New York, and Park City, Utah

When at Lake Placid, the Junior Team members are housed at the Olympic Training Center, which features a large indoor training facilityIts an ideal situation for any luge athlete because theyre all together and push each other,Sheer said. Even if they dont go further than a year or two at the D team, its a great experience.” 

Sheer also said the Slider Search event will come back to Arrowhead Ranch, possibly next year. We want to get back out there,Sheer said. But the COVID19 pandemic halted the program as well as several summer camps for the Junior National Team. We think theres an opportunity to build a luge culture out there.” 

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