USA Luge News

Erin Hamlin becomes first-ever singles medalist in USA Luge history; Kate Hansen 10th, Summer Britcher 15th

Created on February 11, 2014 by Sandy Caligiore

Erin Hamlin of the United States greets her coach Mark Grimmette after finishing her final run to win the bronze medal during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Erin Hamlin became the first American luge racer to win a singles medal Tuesday night when she scored an Olympic bronze medal at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., entered the final two runs in third place behind eventual gold medalist Natalie Geisenberger (GUY-sen-berger) and silver medal winner Tatyana Huefner, both of Germany. Hamlin’s consistency got the job done. The 2009 World Champion opened the race with the second fastest heat, and then turned in the third fastest times in each of the remaining legs to put her in the record books.

The most successful singles racer in United States Olympic history achieved her medal before family, friends and U.S. team supporters who made the 7,000 mile journey on a wing and a belief that the first podium finish in the 50 years of Olympic luge was attainable.

When Hamlin began her training week earlier, she had a calm and confident demeanor, coupled with fast times. That told the fan base in attendance that perhaps something was in the Krasnaya wind. On four consecutive runs over two nights, she negotiated the 16 tricky women’s curves, including three uphill sections, with just a few slight errors and put herself within sight of the podium. Not the quickest of starters, but there was speed in her sled and driving style that, coupled with a longer course, gave her a distinct chance at overcoming other threats from Russia and Canada.

In winning the gold medal, Geisenberger made the race quick work. She opened a 3/4 of a second advantage Monday night, and posted a victory margin of more than one second. The performance was consistent with her season as she took eight of nine World Cup races prior to these Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Erin Hamlin of the United States hugs her parents Ron and Eileen Hamlin after the flower ceremony during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Hamlin won the bronze medal. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Erin Hamlin of the United States celebrates during the flower ceremony after she won the bronze medal during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Erin Hamlin of the United States waves the flag to the crowd after finishing her final run to win the bronze medal during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Kate Hansen of the United States reacts (busts a move) after her final run during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Summer Britcher of the United States gives the thumbs up to the crowd after finishing her final runduring the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Audio interviews with Erin Hamlin, Kate Hansen and Summer Britcher

Results

USA LUGE © 2014