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My father made me....

Female athletes are an important part of the United States Olympic Luge Team. Twenty-five-year-old Erin Warren feels both proud and lucky to be one of four women on the team of fourteen lugers.

As a young girl, Erin was often one of the few girls on a playing field made up mostly of boys. And not all the boys liked sharing the field. Erin says she could either ignore their complaining or simply not play.

She decided that she would play. Thanks to her father's encouragement, Erin says she learned that "If you are sure of yourself, being `one of the boys' is easy--even if you're a girl."

I know that some girls run into roadblocks when it comes to participating in sports traditionally seen as being for only boys. But I was brought up to believe that I could do anything I set my mind to.

I've been active in sports since I was about six or seven years old. But back then, there weren't a lot of girls' leagues. So I could either sit and watch, or I could be one of a handful of girls to play with the boys.

I decided to play. My father was great about it. He thought it was cool that I was one of the only girls. He even signed me up for a basketball camp at Harvard University where I was the only girl.

I was fifteen when NYNEX began sponsoring luge camps for kids. My dad thought it might be something I'd like, so he signed me up for tryouts. I took to it right away, and after a while, I made the Junior National Team.

I never ran into any trouble being a girl luger until the team decided to go to Europe. I was going to school in Boston and had a special advisor to help me. When I told her the team was going to Europe, she was against it. She said she didn't think luging was something a girl should do. When I refused to give up the team, she said I'd have to find a new advisor.

But my parents came to my rescue. They felt that I should have the chance to do both--to continue my studies and go to Europe with the team. My mom said we'd just find a new advisor. My parents believed I could be an athletic girl, even in a boy's world. And I'm really glad they did.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Children's Better Health Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Olympic luger Erin Warren describes the influence her father had on her participation in sports
Author:Halls, Kelly Milner
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Jan 1, 1997
Words:410
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