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Erin Hamlin becomes first American to ever medal in singles luge

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Erin Hamlin celebrates after earning the bronze in the women's luge. (Reuters)
Erin Hamlin celebrates after earning bronze in women's luge, the first American ever to do so. (Reuters)

With a final run of 50.348 Tuesday evening, Erin Hamlin made history in singles luge.

She became the first American to ever medal in the event in the Olympics -- for men and women -- finishing in 3:21.145 to take bronze for the United States.

Germany took the two top spots. Natalie Geisenberger won gold with a composite time of 3:19.768. The silver went to the woman who won gold in Vancouver four years ago, 34-year-old Tatjana Huefner (3:20.907).

For Hamlin, who won the 2009 World Championships, this was a culmination of a big-time comeback. She took No. 16 in Vancouver and did not win any events in World Cup racing in 2013.

Kate Hansen -- the beloved American who dances to Beyonce before races -- finished with a composite time of 3:22.667, which gave her 10th overall. Her fourth and final run clocked at 50.499 seconds, her fastest of all her heats in Sochi.

After her run, which temporarily put her atop the leaderboard, the crowd implored her to "dance! dance! dance!" she obliged and boogied for a few seconds.

American Summer Britcher finished in 3:24.143 after her four runs, good for 15th overall.

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