No United States luger had ever won a medal in a singles event at the Olympics coming into Tuesday. Erin Hamlin changed that.
Hamlin took home the bronze medal in the women’s luge after finishing the course in 3:21.145 in Sochi. Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger (3:19.768) won gold, while fellow German luger Tatjana Hufner (3:20.907) took silver.
Hamlin was in near disbelief about her accomplishment, especially after failing to medal in Vancouver in 2010 or at the World Cup this season.
“It’s surreal,” Hamlin said, per USA Today. “I had four great runs. I came here with no expectations, and this is beyond what I imagined.”
Hamlin held off Canadian Alex Gough, a favorite entering the race, who finished fourth, and a trio of Russians to make American Olympic history. The 27-year-old New York native says that wasn’t exactly her goal going into the race.
“I don’t necessarily think, ‘Oh, I want to make history,'” Hamlin said. “It’s more like, ‘I want to get a medal.’ I’m just really trying to soak up everything up, have fun and be happy with my race.”
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