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Posted on: February 9, 2018

Coon Rapids Girl Taking Keen Interest in 2018 Winter Olympics

Thousands of athletes from across the world are turning their Olympic dreams into reality this month as the 2018 winter games get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Recently, a 10-year-old Coon Rapids girl got the chance of a lifetime with an Olympic sport. Katie Schue took part in a development camp for young lugers.

Laura Schue handed the letter to her daughter Katie.

"Read it."

Katie read it. And as she did she realized the surprise of her young life.

"What," exclaimed Katie.

An invitation to a week-long luge camp in Lake Placid, New York.

"Pretty cool," her dad said, as he beamed.

"I get to go to New York to do luge," Katie exclaimed with excitement.

The word ‘luge’ has become a household word with the Schue's since Katie's mom, Laura found a local luge slider search event last September.

"The day that we did the slider search in Minneapolis I just had this gut feeling that she was going to go to the next level," said Laura Schue.

Katie is a gifted athlete who competes in several sports including football. Out of 700 kids from across the country, who tried the luge, she was one of 42 invited to the camp at the Winter Olympics venue in Lake Placid.

"At 8 a.m. you had breakfast, after that we'd go do starts and then you'd do lunch. And then after that you'd do sliding."

In Minneapolis the slider search event was run by the head coach of the U.S. team, Fred Zimny and other Olympians. They used modified sleds for with rollerblade wheels. It was Lake Placid was where Katie braved her first real - luge run.

"Some of the times I got scared, like the first time that I did my starts, which is when you do the pulling back and forth,” said Katie. “First time I did that I got scared the first time going down the track and then going on one of the higher starts."

And how does mom feel?

"I am ecstatic, utterly ecstatic," Schue said.

While Katie gets plenty of aerobic exercise outside chasing the family dog, Sandy, the family waits on pins and needles to find out if Katie will become part of the USA Luge Junior Development Team.

"Now we have to wait till May and if we make it in then I'm probably going to be gone for about three months in a year," Katie said.

And with the right training, her mom says the Olympics could be in her future.

"If she sticks with it and if she has the skill set to do it that'll be about the time she's 15, 16, 17 years old."

While Katie and her family await word on whether she makes the USA Luge Junior Development Team, you can bet they'll be glued to the TV watching this year's Olympic luge competition.

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