La Canada Flintridge resident Kate Hansen finished 10th Tuesday in the women's singles luge at the XXII Winter Olympics.
“I'm just grateful that for the rest of my life I can say that I got a top 10 at the Olympics,” said Hansen, who before competition began Monday said she “would love a Top 10 finish.”
Hansen's total time of three minutes, 22.667 seconds was 2.899 seconds behind gold medalist Natalie Geisenberger of Germany and .501 of a second behind the ninth-place finisher, Martina Kocher of Switzerland.
Another German, Tatjana Huefner, finished second, 1.139 seconds behind Geisenberger, with Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., finishing third, 1.377 seconds off the lead, becoming the first U.S. woman to win a medal in luge.
The 21-year-old Hansen, who
attends Brigham Young University, entered today's final two runs on the
Sanki Sliding Center track in Rzhanaya Polyana,
Russia in 10th place.
She hit a wall on her first run of the day and had 13th-fastest time, 50.793 seconds. She had the sixth-fastest time on her second run, 50.499 seconds, which was the best of her four runs at her first Olympics.
Hansen briefly sat on the ice after she completed her final run “just to take it in,” she said.
“My family was crying, my sister was crying,” said Hansen, who said she wasn't crying “because I was too stoked that I had a clean run.”
Some fans chanted, “Dance, dance, dance,” to Hansen, in reference to her pre-race routine of dancing to music by Beyonce.
“I didn't want to that person that just walked away so I kind of gave them what they wanted,'' Hansen said. ``I felt kind of stupid doing it, but it’s OK.”
Hansen said she began dancing a few months ago to warm up before races because a broken foot left her unable to run.
“My girl Beyonce just gets me pumped up so I can't help it,” Hansen said.
Hamlin's medal was also the first for the U.S. in luge singles, either men's or women's. The U.S. had previously won four medals in men's doubles, two silver and two bronze.
“Hopefully this will put a lot of confidence into our program going into next year,” Hansen said. “I think this is just a really big boost to all of us and we're stoked.”
--City News Service