The 2014 Winter Olympics women's singles luge competition generated plenty of hype, and the event lived up to the anticipation at Sanki Sliding Center in Sochi, Russia.
German star Natalie Geisenberger secured the gold medal with a time of 3 minutes, 19.768 seconds over four runs.
BREAKING: Natalie Geisenberger of Germany wins Olympic gold in women's luge; American Erin Hamlin wins bronze.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) February 11, 2014
Here is a look at the top finishers:
|Finish||Athlete||Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Run 4||Total||Difference|
Fellow German Tatjana Huefner put the most pressure on her teammate on Tuesday, winning the silver medal with an impressive time of 3:20.907, 1.139 seconds off the gold-medal pace.
American star Erin Hamlin lived up to the immense expectations and brought home the bronze medal. She becomes the first American to ever win a medal in a singles luge event, according to R.J. Rico of NBC Sports:
Geisenberger led the event through the first two runs with a combined time of 1:39.814, and was flanked by Huefner at the halfway mark, who racked up an impressive time of 1:40.580. Hamlin entered the final two runs in third place with a time of 1:40.632.
No woman came close to catching Geisenberger, who had the best time for all four runs.
Her performance was part of a historic day, as Sports Illustrated editor Richard Demak noted:
Olympic overload: Historic women's ski jump, historic women's luge, dysphoric men's halfpipe all happening simultaneously.— Richard Demak (@rdemak) February 11, 2014
No woman broke the 50-second mark except Geisenberger, who managed to break the mark in three of four runs. Her performance on Tuesday will go down as one of the most dominant in the history of the Olympic sport.
The Germans dominated the event, but American interest in luge will continue to grow with the bronze-medal performance of Hamlin.
Before the event, Hamlin told the Associated Press via The Press of Atlantic City about keeping her focus:
I don't think, 'Oh, I want to make history' as much as I want to get a medal. I did once before, and I didn't even think about it then, so maybe that's the way to go. I'm just trying to set everything up, have fun, and be happy with my runs. That's the bottom line.
As a hero to women around the world and to Team USA supporters looking to get into the sport, the consistency shown over all four runs proved that she has the talent and mental aptitude to be a top performer in the event for a long time.
If Hamlin wants to beat Geisenberger and the Germans at the 2018 Winter Olympics, though, she will have to find some serious speed over the next four years.
Updated Medal Tracker