Olympic Bronze Medalist, World Champion, Luge
“I knew I could compete with the best in the world.”
You have to admit, the sport of luge sounds pretty scary. According to www.olympic.org it involves competitors lying on their backs on a tiny sled with their feet stretched out in front of them, and racing down an icy track at speeds in the range of 90 miles per hour, without brakes. That’s right: without brakes!
Erin Hamlin fell in love with the speed and thrill of this sport at age 12. And if it takes nerves of steel, a calm and easy-going nature as well as a need for speed to succeed in this event, then Erin is a natural. “It’s no fun to be negative and grumpy [when things don’t go how you planned],” she says. “It’s better to take something away from it, fix it and build it from there.”
But don’t be mistaken by this gentle exterior. Erin is a fierce competitor. She competed at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games, finishing twelfth. She turned the luge world upside down in 2009 by winning gold at the World Championships – the first time in 99 races that top spot did NOT go to Germany. She finished 16th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, the top American finisher.
This was followed up by a 2014 Sochi Olympic Games performance that the Associated Press called “a feat that will surly go down as perhaps the greatest moment in USA luge history.” Her third place finish was the first medal in luge ever won by an American woman, and the first medal won by an American of either gender in singles competition.
This is Erin's fourth year as an Athlete Mentor.