KUSA - Team USA's Erin Hamlin will forever be known as the athlete who won her country's first bronze during women's singles luge competition. We talked with her on 9NEWS 8 a.m.
VISIT 9NEWS' OLYMPIC ZONE FOR MORE STORIES: http://on9news.tv/olympics
Hamlin finished on the podium in third place, trailing only Germans Natalie Geisenberger and Tatjana Hufner.
Her sport is always a wild ride. Athletes zip down a curved course of ice at speeds nearing 90 mph, and has been part of every Winter Olympics since 1964.
Team USA generally has struggled in luge, with a top singles finish of eighth at 2010 Vancouver.
Hamlin reached dramatic new heights during her third Olympic appearance, and says the win still feels amazing. "It has been pretty surreal the last few days. One of those things that I think every athlete winter athlete dreams of achieving. But to have it actually become reality is beyond words," she said.
Hamlin says she's been encouraged by all the support she's gotten since the win, including an impromptu parade in her hometown of Remsen, New York. Hamlin credits her performance, in part, to a redesigned sled, and in part, to a solid week of training in Sochi before her run.
"I had written down a lot of notes after the training week and our past time here," she said. "It paid off. I felt great going into the race comfortable and confident that I could make it down for four runs and know I would be happy with it."
"I was not sure where that would leave me in the results. But throughout the week I was going pretty fast and knew I had some more to gain in the banks. I was holding back a little bit. So it was exciting to go into the race and let it all out and see how fast I could go," she explained.
Her next chapter? She's not ruling out another Olympics.
"I'm definitely not done with the sport. I'll see what the future holds, as we move forward. But I will be back on the ice next year. After that is an unknown," Hamlin said.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)