Germany goes wild as Natalie Geisenberger gets the gold in the women’s luge event, a win that was never a doubt among followers of the sport. With a final time of 3 minutes and 19.768 seconds, Geisenberger has set the second-biggest victory margin in luge Olympic history, beating her teammate Tatjana Huefner by 1.139 seconds.
Geisenberger, 26, was already an accomplished World Cup champion who dominated 7 of the 8 events in the World Cup circuit. Winning the gold medal and an Olympic title just adds more credit to her name. According to Geisenberger, the first three runs were near perfect, with the last one being just good enough. She holds the record for being the only slider to have managed a run of under 50 seconds, which she was able to do on 3 out of 4 runs. “The feeling was that I could make a little mistake and still win – that was a good feeling.”, said the German gold-medalist.
Americans also had a lot to celebrate. Erin Hamlin from Remsen, New York, came in third and nabbed the bronze medal. This win goes down in history as the very first medal awarded to an American singles Luge athlete since the event became part of the Olympics 50 years ago in 1964. Hamlin crossed the finish line rejoicing with her hands up in the air. After the event, she was congratulated by U.S. coach Mark Grimmette.
America always came in fourth place in singles at the Olympics, and this year’s historic win is sure to be talked about among fans and athletes of the sport back in the States. Hamlin was awarded the fifth medal for USA Luge, with four medals – two bonzes and two silvers – awarded to participants of doubles races.
All three women who stood on the podium were already world champions, another historical moment for women’s Luge.
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