Olympian Julia Clukey Presents Courage Award to Matt O’Shea at Freeport Middle School

14-year-old is an airman first class training in search and rescue pursuing pilot’s license

May 1, 2017 — Olympian Julia Clukey visited Freeport Middle School in Freeport on April 28 to share her “Live Inspired” presentation. She talked with more than 400 middle school students about her personal story and encouraged the students to find their passion, create a plan and go after their dreams.

Freeport Middle School courage award

From left to right: Sara Gideon, Maine Speaker of the House; Matt O’Shea, student at Freeport Middle School; Julia Clukey, Olympian; and Ray Grogan, principal of Freeport Middle School. Photo courtesy: MBWD

As part of the assembly, Clukey presented the Julia Clukey Courage Award to Matt O’Shea of Pownal. O’Shea is a 14-year-old student at Freeport Middle School who was selected by school administrators to receive the award because of his community involvement and volunteering, his passion for his studies and his courage at such a young age to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot.

At the end of the 20-minute presentation, Clukey took questions, hosted an autograph session and interacted with the more than 400 students.

Maine Speaker of the House Rep. Sara Gideon (D-Freeport), who represents District 48 which includes Freeport and parts of Pownal, also attended the event and was part of the courage award presentation.

The presentation was provided at no cost to the school. Since partnering with the Maine Beer & Wine Distributors in 2010, Clukey has shared her story at 66 Maine schools, reaching more than 21,000 Maine students.

Clukey, 32, announced her retirement from the sport of luge last year based on concerns about her future health related to onset of pain she has experienced from Arnold-Chiari malformation, a congenital brain condition that she has endured throughout her career. To learn more about Olympian Julia Clukey, visit www.clukeyluge.com.

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