Maya Chan Wins Silver at the Luge Junior World Cup
By Alison Murr
In December, Maya Chan, Adv. 101, and her doubles partner, Reannyn Weiler, won silver at the Junior World Cup (JWC) in Park City for luge. Chan’s luge career started in 2014 after the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. After watching Erin Hamlin win the first medal for a female American luger, an advertisement came on TV for a program called the “Slider Search.” Chan attended the program in the summer of 2014 and was picked to attend a screening camp in Muskegon, Michigan in January of 2015. From there, she was placed on the National Development Team until last year, when she was moved to the National Candidate Team.
The JWC was the first year that the National Candidate Team was able to race against teams from Europe and Asia. In years prior, the group was only able to race against Canadian teams. Last year, her team spent two weeks before the competition training with the team above them, the Junior National Team (JNT). According to Chan, racing in the Junior World Cup gave her the opportunity to experience what international races were like without the pressure for good results that the JNT has. “It was very exciting to be a part of the first ever inaugural Women's Doubles race,” said Chan.
Chan went on to explain that she and her partner are the only women’s doubles team in the entire United States. According to Chan, there has only been one category for doubles and it is open to both men and women. Due to weight and strength differences, the division has always been dominated by men. The Federation of International Luge is pushing to get separate categories for men and women in the next Olympics. If the FIL manages to get separate categories, Chan plans to compete in the Youth Olympic Games. She recently spent three weeks in St. Moritz, Switzerland, training for next year and competing in the Junior World Cup there, earning a bronze medal. As for her future in the sport, Chan says that she one day hopes to compete in the Olympics in women’s doubles.