Erin Hamlin, the 27-year-old luger from Remsen, New York, just won the bronze in women's singles, making her the first American to ever medal in an Olympic luge singles event. Hamlin finished just behind Natalie Geisenberger and Tanya Hüfner of Germany — but then, the running joke in luge is that the first finisher after the Germans is the real winner.
If luge were more popular, this would be one of the greatest American winter sports achievement since the "Miracle on Ice. For the fans, this is better than figure skating:
Fellow US luge teammates Aidan Kelly and single-forever Tucker West were there to cheer Hamlin on. Kelly and West finished 22nd and 24th in the men's singles races.
OH MY GOD WAY TO GO @erinhamlin FIRST OLYMPIC MEDAL FOR THE U.S. IN SINGLES!!!!! SO DAMN PROUD OF YOU HAMBONE! <3p.s. I totes wasn't crying— Aidan Kelly (@AidanKellyUSA) February 11, 2014
On the women's side, Beyoncé fan Kate Hansen finished in 10th and Summer Britcher finished in 15th. Halfway through the fourth set of runs, Hansen was in first place... for about a minute:
In 2009, Hamlin beat Geisenberger, and everyone else, at the Women's Luge World Championship, ending Germany's ridiculous 99-event winning streak. She was expected to dominate at the 2010 Games, but didn't, coming in at 16th place.