Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger has finally captured the Olympic gold medal for her country in the women’s luge event at the Winter Games in Sochi on Tuesday.
As a leader of the sport the German champ consolidated her position at the top of the podium in Russia and also achieved the second-largest victory margin in Olympic history. Her final time was 3 minutes, 19.768 seconds, 1.139 seconds better than fellow German teammate Tatjana Huefner — the 2010 gold medalist — who won the silver medal.
The American, Erin Hamlin finished in third place and became the first ever medalist for the United States in any singles luge event in Olympics history, 50 years after the sport became a Winter Games sport.
“Runs one, two and three were nearly perfect,” Natalie Geisenberger said later. “The last one was a little bit (…) wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough.”
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Natalie Geisenberger, Tatjana Huefner, and Erin Hamlin have –since 2007 — found their way on top of the podium for the luge, at either the Olympics or the World Championships, so it’s only fitting that, once again, they shared in their individual glory at Sochi together.
At 26-years-old, Natalie Geisenberger has consolidated her place in the sport with a World Championship, World Cup Championship, and now the Olympic gold medal.
In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics the German got the bronze, this is her first gold and at 26, it may be her last appearance in a Winter Games.
Speaking about the historic American accomplishment by Erin Hamlin, a gracious Natalie Geisenberger said:
“Erin is such a great girl,” Geisenberger said. “She’s always friendly, always smiling, always saying hello. It’s very cool and for the USA, it’s important to have success in luge after so many difficult years. I’m happy for her.”
Hamlin — an energetic New York native — has been making headlines for her pre-run routine of dancing to her iPod playlist while warming up.
The Germans are a force to be reckoned with in the luge and Natalie Geisenberger left no doubt as to who the best female is, giving the Germans their fifth straight women’s gold medal and 10th victory overall in 14 Olympics since the sport was introduced. It is also the ninth time a gold and silver has been won by Germany.