Kate Hansen had a bit of unorthodox training – riding skateboards through suburban streets – so it’s no surprise how she reacted when she placed 10th in her event at the Sochi Olympics.
When Hansen’s race, the women’s singles luge event, was over she wasn’t ready to leave just yet. She sat on her sled for just a moment, pounded the slush, waved to her crying family, got up, went above the finish line and did something you would only expect a gold medal winner to do.
“Everybody was chanting, ‘Dance, dance, dance.’ I’m so grateful to be here, I didn’t want to be that kind of person to just walk away,” said Hansen.
While many would have walked away crying with their heads down, the 21-year-old Hansen showed us that it isn’t just about winning, it’s about your perspective and what you take from your time at the Olympics.
“I will be so thankful for this moment for the rest of my life. This moment is what people talk about in all those movies, what people dream about, it’s all real, and I’m just so grateful,” said Hansen. “I didn’t come here assuming I’d win anything, I just came here to go for it and do my best. I’m so lucky that happened.”
Hansen had a few setbacks in her career, but she didn’t let them keep her down. At 16 she broke her back while training on the same Vancouver run that killed a luger from Georgia in the Olympics four years ago. Not long after that she broke her foot.
These broken bones didn’t keep her from moving forward, she just chose to do it with Beyonce themed warm-ups.
The Southern California native only dances to Beyonce during her warmups, and when the singer caught wind of this she took to her Facebook page. Beyonce shared a link with the caption “Go Kate!” before Hansen’s event.
While Hansen didn’t receive a medal, fellow American Erin Hamlin finished third, making her the first woman in U.S. history to receive a medal in the luge event. Hansen tweeted out a photo of Hamlin with her bronze medal.
— Kate Hansen (@k8ertotz) February 12, 2014
Hansen further showed us that winning isn’t everything when she said, “I was sitting on that track thinking, ‘Honestly, you’ve been through so much and you’re here, you’re actually at the Olympics, you’ve made it, Hansen!'”
Many may already be aware of Hansen’s world famous dancing at this point, but if not, watch the video below.