GARDINER – After a little down time this past spring, Julia Clukey is ready to jump into her luge training for the upcoming World Cup season, and down the road, the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

But first, the 25-year-old from Augusta wanted to do something for her home state.

“I’m pretty passionate about the community I grew up in, and I wanted to reconnect,” Clukey said, minutes before speaking to Gardiner Area High School athletes at their fall sports meeting.

Clukey’s speech was sponsored by the Maine Beer and Wine Distributors Association, and was the first of a series of talks she will give at high schools around the state. Clukey will speak in Sanford tonight and at Cony on Aug. 26.

Clukey’s appearance included a short video, highlighting her training regimen and competition at the Olympics last February in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While Clukey never specifically mentioned alcohol in her short speech, she stressed to the Gardiner students to make good choices in their lives.

“My life has been about making decisions,” Clukey said. “Make those decisions that will help you get to where you want to be.”

After the Olympics, Clukey took some time off to rest a neck injury and take stock of her life.

“I was dealing with a lot of health issues. Mentally, did I want to continue? I’m 25 now, I have other things I want to do in life,” Clukey said. “I realized I wanted to continue training. It took about a month to feel like an athlete again.”

The post-Olympic year is kind of a relaxed year, Clukey said, and she spent the summer training at home in Augusta. She’ll return to Lake Placid, N.Y., in September to train with the national team.

“Next season is about staying healthy and competing a full World Cup schedule,” Clukey said.

Before leaving for Lake Placid, Clukey is looking forward to speaking at more Maine high schools. She has recorded some public service announcements, and hopes to do more high school appearances in the spring, too.

“Even if five kids take something (from the speech), it’s worth it,” Clukey said.