February 21, 2024
Florida teen making history in the luge at Youth Olympics

Isabela Aponte was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Fort Myers, Florida when she was 3. As an athletic kid, she played tennis and karate growing up. Then last year, she got invited to Latvia.“I figured why not try something new,” Aponte said. “It looks really cool. After that, I found this love for the sport.”The sport she is now in love with is luge – the Olympic sport where you lie down on your back and speed down a sheet of ice with plenty of turns. Aponte goes upwards of 80 miles per hour with only her calves and shoulders to steer.“I do love the speed,” she said. “I’m always an adrenaline junky.”Isabela fell in love with luge at 15 years old, and ever since, she has dedicated her life to it. She has switched to online school, trains for months in Lake Placid, New York, and travels the globe competing on the international stage.“The experiences this sport gives me, everything about it is so special,” she said.Aponte’s hard work has paid off. At just 16 years old and only a year and a half after she first started in the sport, Isabela has qualified for the 2024 Youth Olympics.“If someone told me before all of this happened this is where I’d be, I wouldn’t believe them,” she said.Aponte is currently at the games in South Korea. Her presence there is historic. Isabela will be representing her home territory of Puerto Rico. She is the first athlete from a Caribbean island to ever compete in the luge at the Youth Olympics.“It means so much,” Aponte said. “It’s amazing that I’m able to make history and bring my flag all around the world.”Just being there isn’t enough for Aponte, though. Isabela is hungry to prove herself on the global stage.“Gold would be, it would be insane,” she said.The Youth Olympics begin on Friday with the opening ceremony. Then, Isabela will compete in the luge on Saturday.

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Isabela Aponte was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Fort Myers, Florida when she was 3. As an athletic kid, she played tennis and karate growing up. Then last year, she got invited to Latvia.

“I figured why not try something new,” Aponte said. “It looks really cool. After that, I found this love for the sport.”

The sport she is now in love with is luge – the Olympic sport where you lie down on your back and speed down a sheet of ice with plenty of turns. Aponte goes upwards of 80 miles per hour with only her calves and shoulders to steer.

“I do love the speed,” she said. “I’m always an adrenaline junky.”

Isabela fell in love with luge at 15 years old, and ever since, she has dedicated her life to it. She has switched to online school, trains for months in Lake Placid, New York, and travels the globe competing on the international stage.

“The experiences this sport gives me, everything about it is so special,” she said.

Aponte’s hard work has paid off. At just 16 years old and only a year and a half after she first started in the sport, Isabela has qualified for the 2024 Youth Olympics.

“If someone told me before all of this happened this is where I’d be, I wouldn’t believe them,” she said.

Aponte is currently at the games in South Korea. Her presence there is historic. Isabela will be representing her home territory of Puerto Rico. She is the first athlete from a Caribbean island to ever compete in the luge at the Youth Olympics.

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“It means so much,” Aponte said. “It’s amazing that I’m able to make history and bring my flag all around the world.”

Just being there isn’t enough for Aponte, though. Isabela is hungry to prove herself on the global stage.

“Gold would be, it would be insane,” she said.

The Youth Olympics begin on Friday with the opening ceremony. Then, Isabela will compete in the luge on Saturday.