Chicago teen’s luging dreams coming true

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Fall just began, but one Chicago teen is already looking forward to winter.

Luger Joan Kemper is part of this year's Junior Olympic team and is quickly approaching her first big competition.

Joan Kemper’s workouts are intense.  She meets three to five days a week with a trainer and does five mile daily runs with her cross country team.  That’s on top of six hours of high school each day.  Not to mention homework.

But this very dedicated and focused 14-year-old wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Every time I’m training, I remember what I’m training for and I stay focused for that,” she said.  “Because the hard work will definitely pay off.”

So far it has.

We first met Joan this past winter, days ahead of her trials for the Junior Olympic luge team.  It was her first time ever in a real luge on real ice.

Four months later, the Kempers learned their Joan made the team and was headed to Lake Placid, New York and the Olympic training center.

For an entire week this summer, Joan trained with Olympians.  She was inside the ice house to work on luge starts and hit the track and the massive training facility.  She made luge runs on a hillside and worked side by side with Olympic medalists.

“I came out with the Most Athletic award, which I was super stoked about.”

This winter she will spend three months on and off back at the training center.  She will work on the outdoor track and speeds up to 50 miles per hour for the first time.  In February she faces her first competition as a luger for the U.S. Junior Olympic team.

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