Allentown freshman Theresa Buckley came a step closer to her dream of racing luge in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Her strong season on the "Candidate" team earned her a place on the USA Luge Junior National Team, a stepping stone to the senior team and the Olympics.
Theresa above exiting the track at Park City, Utah, and below, with team members at Park City.
PA Cyber student makes USA Luge Jr. Nat’l Team
A great season in international youth luge racing has earned Theresa Buckley, 15, a place on the USA Luge Junior National team, and has brought her a step closer to the ultimate goal of representing the U.S. in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The PA Cyber freshman from Allentown, Pa., won the USA Luge Youth National Championships and finished her first season in the Youth World Cup competition with gold medals in two of six international races and second place overall.
Racing above her age group, she also had a fourth-place finish in the Junior National Championships (up to age 20), and finished fifth in the Senior National Championships.
On the strength of these performances, Theresa was named by USA Luge to the Junior National Team, which will compete for the Junior World Cup next winter.
Theresa competed internationally this year in six Youth World Cup races as a member of the USA Luge National Candidate Team. Races were held in Park City, Utah (twice), Calgary in Ontario, Igls in Austria, and Winterberg and Oberhof in Germany.
Competing against athletes from various countries, some as old as 17, Theresa won two gold medals in Park City and was among the top 15 in all other races.
During the summer Theresa and other members of the Junior National team will attend camps for testing, conditioning and dry-land wheel training.
More information may be found at www.usaluge.org and on Theresa’s USA Luge Facebook page.
Theresa enrolled in PA Cyber as an eighth grader to have the freedom and flexibility to pursue her athletic dream of racing in the Olympics.
She became interested in luge racing when the Blue Mountain Pennsylvania Ski Resort near her home hosted the “luge challenge,” an event sponsored by the USA Luge Association to introduce young winter athletes to the sport. Only 12 at the time, Theresa finished second in the 17-and-under women’s group and so impressed a former Olympian luger that he presented his card and invited her to try out on a real luge track at Lake Placid.
Theresa grew up in a family that loves snow skiing and other sports. The family came to the U.S. from Germany 15 years ago.
Her father Hans, who works for a medical supply company based in Germany, played recreational hockey and is a senior ski patroller at Blue Mountain. Her mother, Tina, is a German language professor at area colleges, is a certified ski instructor at Blue Mountain, and played on an ice hockey team in Germany. Brothers Ludwig, 18, and Sebastian, 12, who also are very athletic, are now enrolled at PA Cyber.