AUGUSTA — Olympian and Augusta native Julia Clukey will announce her retirement from luge at a Tuesday afternoon news conference at the Kennebec Valley YMCA.

Clukey, 31, had competed in the sport for 19 years. She finished 17th in the 2010 Olympics and also won two silver medals in World Cup competition.

She failed to qualify for the 2014 Olympics by a mere .013 seconds but put off retirement with the hopes of earning a berth on the national team that would compete in 2018.

Last November, Clukey fell one spot out of qualifying for the U.S. World Cup team. When USA Luge announced the national team in April for the 2016-17 season, she was listed on the “C” team.

The U.S. team is allowed four spots on the World Cup circuit and three of those spots were already filled, meaning Clukey would have had to compete with racers on the “C” and “B” teams for the final slot this fall.

Clukey said last May that she was training to compete for a berth on the team and continue working toward her ultimate goal, to return to Olympic competition in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“There’s one spot open for the World Cup and that what I’m going after,” Clukey said in May. “I like competition. This is a sport that is time to a thousandth of a second and sometimes you come up a little short. I feel good. I feel motivated. I feel dedicated.”

“I’m going to give it all I’ve got and we’ll see what happens.”

Clukey enjoyed breakthrough success on the World Cup circuit in 2007-08, when she finished 12th overall in women’s singles. In 2009, she finished fifth at the FIL World Luge Championships in Lake Placid.

Shortly after winning the third of her four International Luge Start gold medal in 2009, she injured her right knee in a crash at Lake Placid and underwent arthroscopic surgery. She returned right before the start of the season and, despite suffering a neck injury during the season, was selected to compete in the 2010 Olympics and finished 13th overall in the 2009-10 World Cup standings.

In 2011, Clukey underwent brain surgery for Arnold Chiari Malformation, which causes headaches, fatigue and problems with balance. She made a triumphant return for the 2012-13 season, winning her first national title in Lake Placid, capturing two silver medals in World Cup competition and finishing 6th overall in the final World Cup standings. She was named USA Luge Female Athlete of the Year.

She earned a silver medal at the 2013 national championships, then earned two top-10 World Cup finishes.

In addition to her training, Clukey visits high schools around the state as a motivational speaker as part of her “Julia Inspires” campaign. She’s also run a summer camp, Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls, on Maranacook Lake in Readfield for the last five years.

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