‘FELT SO GREAT’
Hamlin sat in third place after two runs Feb. 10, and she put together two more strong runs the next day to cement her spot on the podium.
Once she got over her pre-medal-ceremony jitters, she was able to soak it all in.
“It was pretty crazy, actually,” she said. “It’s a moment that you dream about as a winter athlete. I never really thought I would be there.
“It felt so great. I’ve watched so many medal ceremonies in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, and to have that moment on my own is so cool.”
Since her race, Hamlin has been through “kind of a whirlwind.”
She’s done numerous interviews and made an appearance on the “Today Show.” She also competed in the luge team relay, which made its Olympic debut.
But she said her most exciting experience since winning the medal was attending the Russia-U.S. men’s hockey thriller Saturday.
Hamlin called all of the media attention “surreal” and hopes it will be good for luge.
Her sport, she said, is “definitely not a big attention-grabber. Even during the Games, I don’t think it’s high on the list of popular sports (in the United States),” she said.
“So it’s been really great. The sliding sports so far ... have been shining in the spotlight pretty well. I’m excited to hopefully bring more attention to luge, get it on the radar and hopefully pave the way for the future.”
Reaching the Olympic podium was always a goal. Making history wasn’t, necessarily. But Hamlin hopes her medal in Sochi will help spur more American success in luge.
She was introduced to the sport through the USA Luge Slider Search, which holds events around the country to recruit kids. Now Hamlin has teamed with Citi Every Step of the Way to raise money for Slider Search.