Originally from Connecticut; Bethany Bedford is often asked “Luge? How on earth did you get into that?” Her answer is simple “I was not a very good figure skater”.
Spending years following her sister to Lake Placid, New York on ice staking training trips, she was introduced to the exciting, high adrenaline sport of Luge at the age of 12 which propelled her 12 year sliding career. In just 2 short years she became the youngest women ever to win her first of 4 Junior National Championship titles her first being at the age 14. Bethany understood at that moment, that if you give children opportunity to be exposed to a variety of different sports not only does it create self-confidence but it will put them on the path to a lifetime of health and wellness.
At 19, Bethany won her first seat on the 1994 Winter Olympic Luge Team and returning again on the 1998 Olympic Team. Bethany officially retired from the sport of luge in 2000 to complete her education at Norwich University in Physical Education & Biology earning her a seat in the National Biological Honors Society. In addition, she also acquired her degree in Advanced Muscular & Sports Therapy throughout her sliding career. She returned to Luge to compete in the 2012 National Masters Championships, becoming the first woman ever to complete the Junior National, Senior National and Masters Champion known as “The Luge Trifecta”.
Over the last 13 years, Bethany has being working within the health & wellness field as a Sports Therapist, Outdoor Education Leader, Telemark Ski Instructor and most recently added Spin Instructor to her extensive resume. She has also participated in charity sporting events through marathons, golf & skiing. Bethany currently balances her role as mother & wife as well as her professional career. Now residing in Waitsfield, Vermont where recreational activities such as, but not limited to, skiing, hiking, swimming, yoga, horseback riding are among her family’s daily activities.
Today, Bethany’s strong family foundation and support has allowed her to fulfill one of her lifelong goals of inspiring other children; such as herself, through the world of organized sports. Volunteering with Kids Play International combined her excitement for living life to its fullest, her love of travel and more importantly the compassion for the wellness of children. “I have been so blessed with having exposure to sports and education that I was excited to share that with others that don’t have these opportunities. I felt that with my background in physical education and experience as a mom I could contribute a considerable amount of knowledge and compassion to these children,” says Bethany in a recent interview. What she did not expect was all she would get in return. It was more than just teaching kid’s sports. “In Rwanda we were surrounded with love, compassion, forgiveness and joy. There was so much beauty in the simplicity of life over there, you could really see and feel the difference we were making. As the trip went on I realized it was more than the sum of its parts, everyday was a new offering to my heart and my soul.”