Olympian Speaks to Freshmen at Orientation

Post date: Sep 21, 2012 7:28:41 PM

Flying down a winding, ice-coated track on a small sled at speeds exceeding eighty miles an hour takes courage, practice and great skill. But that is what Julia Clukey of Augusta Maine does when in competition on the U.S. National Luge Team. To get to where she is today involved goals and the motivation to achieve them through persistence, determination and lots of hard work.

On September 4th, Clukey, a 2003 graduate of Cony High School in Augusta, was the motivational speaker for freshmen orientation at Wells High School. She was introduced to the audience by Team Leader for the Freshman Team and freshman math teacher Andy Bridge.

Following a short film about her sports career thus far, Clukey talked about being on the Junior Olympic Team and how, at just 17, she became a member of the Senior Olympic Team, a spot that is normally for those 20 and older.

“This was a huge moment for me,” said Clukey to the students. “I had reached my goal, I made the senior team.” She indicated that this experience showed her “how important it was to work hard and how hard work was the one thing you are always going to own yourself.”

She told the audience in the WHS auditorium that her role models are her parents and that “school” came first over sports in her family. She told the group that she has studied electrical engineering and was employed in the summer of 2012 in a marketing department creating graphic design.

Clukey has been a motivational speaker appearing at Maine high schools for the past two years. She estimates she has spoken to 10,000 students in that time period.

“Anytime I get to meet new kids it’s great,” said Clukey. “I’m always amazed by no matter where I go, there’s great kids everywhere and they all have goals of there own and I love talking to them…”

Clukey competed in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and is training to compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

At WHS, Clukey also participated with senior class officers in panel discussions on freshman life. Between panel discussions she met students and signed posters.

In photo above: Olympian Julia Clukey (left) speaking to a group of freshmen at WHS. On stage with Clukey are WHS seniors Bryanna Welch and Sean Roche.