In position to make history on the second day of the women’s luge singles competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Erin Hamlin managed to stay relaxed.
But the medal ceremony the next day had her rattled.
“It was actually way more terrifying than my race,” said Hamlin, who scored the bronze. “I was nervous I would do something wrong. Before the ceremony, they kind of brief you on what to do. And the clothing that you wear — you have to have a specific outfit. I was worried if it would look OK.”
Who could blame her for feeling a little stage fright? Not only had Hamlin never been on an Olympic podium before, but neither had any other U.S. singles luger.
She made it through the ceremony without a hitch, and now she’s enjoying the rest of the Olympics before bringing her bronze medal back to New York.
The Remsen native learned to slide in Lake Placid and now lives and trains there. She was disappointed to miss the podium at the 2010 Olympics, and she went into last week’s event with a different approach.
“I really came into the race with no expectations. This season, I was super consistent, but I hadn’t gotten on the podium — it had been a while since I had,” Hamlin said by phone from Russia.
“I just wanted to have a great two days and be happy with my sliding. This is my third Olympics, and I kind of came in thinking, ‘This is a good chance to be back here. Enjoy the moment, leave everything on the track and have a great race.’
“I think taking all the pressure off from trying to perform a certain way helped a lot. I was able to be relaxed and free in my mind.”