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‘You are aware there is a risk. We’ve all seen the worst-case scenario’ – Meet Ireland’s first Olympic luger Elsa Desmond

Desmond had to set up a sporting federation and fight her fears to reach the Winter Games

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Irish Olympian Elsa Desmond admits she had been afraid of “lifts and revolving doors” before trying her hand at the luge. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Irish Olympian Elsa Desmond admits she had been afraid of “lifts and revolving doors” before trying her hand at the luge. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Elsa Desmond at the Team Ireland squad training base at Innsbruck in Austria. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Elsa Desmond at the Team Ireland squad training base at Innsbruck in Austria. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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Irish Olympian Elsa Desmond admits she had been afraid of “lifts and revolving doors” before trying her hand at the luge. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Consider the void: the vast, empty chasm Elsa Desmond had to cross to become Ireland’s first luge competitor at the Winter Olympics – replete with its unequal distribution of resources, bereft of any blueprint to guide her path.

Consider the child she once was – the last one you’d expect to spend her 20s torpedoing down an ice track at over 130 kilometres an hour.


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