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Feb 13, 2018 12:09 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Eastport Native Represents U.S. In Doubles Luge At Olympics

Eastport native Justin Krewson, top, is competing in the Olympics in doubles luge with partner Andrew Sherk. JOHN DIGIACOMO
Feb 13, 2018 3:55 PM

Ten years ago, Justin Krewson took his first ride on a wheel-equipped, dry-land luge sled, speeding down Bald Hill in Farmingville—and thoroughly hating the experience.

Today, he is in Pyeongchang, South Korea, representing the United States in the sport at the Olympics.

Krewson, who grew up in Eastport and now lives in Lake Placid, found himself on the sled a decade ago as part of USA Luge’s “Slider Search,” a series of events across the country designed to introduce youngsters and recruit potential athletes to the somewhat obscure sport.

He wasn’t sold at first—the first run ended in a crash—but his mother, Regina Krewson, insisted he take one more try. Before long, he was good enough to be chosen for an invitation-only summer camp. From there, he was hooked and, ever since, the 21-year-old has devoted his life to the sport.

It paid off in December, when he found out he and his partner, Andrew Sherk, had qualified for their first Olympic Games. Krewson and Sherk were scheduled to compete on Wednesday, February 14.

Reached last week while in South Korea, Krewson said his expectations for his first Olympics were simple. “I just want to have a good, clean race and do my best to represent my country and my sport,” he said.

Krewson and Sherk have been partners for three years, and Krewson said their relationship is solid.

“For as much time as we spend together, we really get along very well,” he said. “We are both pretty easy-going, and when you spend every day, all day, with one person, it could be difficult, but we have no problems.”

As Krewson’s commitment to luge grew, and his Olympics dream started edging closer to reality, he eventually moved to Lake Placid full time to train and devote himself to the sport. These days, he only spends about a month each year in Eastport, but his parents, Ms. Krewson and her husband, Stephen Krewson, still live there.

Making it to Pyeongchang involved plenty of sacrifice, as it does for all Olympic athletes, particularly those not involved in the major sports like skiing or figure skating. Living at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid, which is a dorm-like setting, helps keep expenses down, Krewson said, but he still worked during the summer months, busing tables at restaurants before picking up welding gigs and doing small projects for money.

“There are things that I miss out on, like family time, holidays, birthdays and things like that,” he said. “But the opportunities and things I get to experience are better than most people my age get to experience. So you win some, you lose some, but it all works out.”

As for the future, Krewson—who also found time to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts—said he is not setting any specific goals for his luge career, but does have clear ideas about what he wants to do once he’s done sliding on the ice at speeds of up to 90 mph. He’s set to begin welding school in Ohio in June, and says his long-term dream job is to become a career firefighter, a passion he’s had since being a member of Eastport’s junior department years ago, and which he’s continued as a member of the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.

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Well done young man. Also a volunteer in the FD. Mom and dad brought up a good kid...
By knitter (1483), Southampton on Feb 13, 18 3:35 PM
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