Chasing your dreams

Chasing your dreams

Eros Bouley-Swedo, Writer

Hunter Harris (‘20) has lots of ambitions and has a plan to make his dreams come true.

Harris has been a student at BFA, but he is taking time away from BFA as he chases his dream.

Harris’s ambitions are cultivated around his own drive for luge and through his parent’s constant love and support of him and of what he does. They allow him to live away from home for a very large portion of the year so he can train in New York.

“It is just me and my parents, they are just really supportive of me,” Harris said.

He stumbled onto the sport for the most part by reading in the paper about a luge event in Burlington, he figured he would try out and it would be a fun day, and they didn’t even start out on ice.

“They have kids try luge on wheels,” Harris said.

The start of his career went exactly as expected. He didn’t get a call back, but he did it again the next year and was selected to come back and do a real tryout, where he got the call that he had been chosen for the team.

“First time I tried it I didn’t make it, I came back after a year, and then I got the call and it was just awesome to hear,” Harris said.

Harris described his life at Lake Placid, NY. He eats, lives, and sleeps luge for the most part. Every day he wakes up at 6 a.m. The team members eat and immediately go to do runs on the course, trying to improve their times. After that they practice take-offs, which are when you get the running start onto the luge, then they do weight training.

“My day includes practice runs, starts, and weight lifting,” Harris said.

Currently Harris resides on the Junior National C Team, but he isn’t content there, and he has plans to move up in the ranks. Luging is no pastime for him. He says he wants to do this for years until he makes the National Team and heads to the Olympics.

“This is something I want to do into my thirties,” Harris said.

It isn’t easy to get moved up though. Harris described how he really has to train hard to improve his time, and he has to take certain tests to qualify for the next level.

“There are tests you have to pass, but it is also how good your times are, getting consistently better and better,” Harris said.

Harris has had some success though at his current level. When they are aren’t training they are usually traveling to different areas to compete in competitions, and last year he took Gold in one competition.

“I won last year, got the Gold at the Empire State Winter Games,” Harris said.

He does still focus on schooling, although he is not currently enrolled in public high school right now. He takes online classes to further his education.

Harris is not the only one pursuing his dreams. There are two other complete junior national teams, and there is the national team where Chris Mazdzer actually just won the silver medal  at the Olympic games.  Mazdzer is 28 and this is his first medal, but he felt extremely accomplished to win.

“This feels like 18 years in the makings. This is what you go to bed thinking about sometimes, to put it together on some of the most difficult conditions and be the first U.S. man to win an Olympic [luge] medal. It hasn’t set in. I can’t process all of that. I’ve just been having fun the last week,” Mazdzer said in an interview from  

It took Mazdzer 18 years to win this silver medal. 18 years of blood, sweat and tears; hopefully Harris can get there too.

Harris has a lot of dreams, and is trying very hard to make them become a reality. He refuses to give up on his dreams.