Even more fun than watching these lightning fast sports, is watching the U.S. women climb the podium at the world championships that serve as a tune-up for the next Olympics.
Big news here! American Erin Hamlin stunned the sport of women’s luge yesterday, handing the Germans their first loss in 99 races, a streak dating to 1997.
In Lake Placid, N.Y., on her home track, Hamlin came straight into the chicane on the icy luge track in the Olympic Sports Complex and knew she had done it. With only two big turns left to go, she knew she had won the Luge World Championships.
Hamlin, a 22-year-old from nearby Remsen, N.Y., is not only the first U.S. woman to win the Luge World Championships, but she is also the first woman from outside Germany to stand on top of the podium in a Luge World Championship since 1993. Even more astounding, she broke the lock that the Germans have had on World Cup, Olympic, and World Championship wins since 1997.
At almost the same time, Shauna Rohbock won her fourth medal of the bobsled World Cup season, taking gold on the track in Whistler, Canada, where the Winter Olympics will be held in a year.
Rohbock, from Provo, Utah, and brakewoman Elana Meyers claimed gold in the 2010 Olympic dress rehearsal with a combined time of one minute, 47.10 seconds after leading the field with the fastest runs of the competition, 53.57 and 53.53.
And Erin Pac, who has been knocking on the podium all season, claimed her first-ever World Cup medal with teammate Michelle Rzepka by winning bronze.
Pac and Rzepka flew down the 2010 Olympic course from start to finish, crossing the final timing eye with a total time of 1:47.40 after sliding identical runs of 53.70 seconds.
American Lindsey Vonn was not so lucky, after being disqualified for splitting a gate in the slalom run at the world championships in Val D’Isere, France. Austria’s Kathrin Zettel won the super-combi in a combined time of 2 minutes 20.13 seconds. Swiss teenager Lara Gut finished second, 0.56 seconds behind, and Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was third.
Just 370 days to go until the Winter Olympics and we’re already pumped.