- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
Hansen gives US 1st World Cup luge win since 1997
Hansen was a surprise winner of the World Cup women’s season finale on Saturday, becoming the first American to prevail in a singles race on the circuit since Nov. 22, 1997 and giving both her and the team a major infusion of confidence heading into next month’s Sochi Games.
“Of course it’s a great surprise for me,” Hansen said. “I’ve never dreamed of winning the event.”
Hansen was a 5-year-old when Cameron Myler gave the U.S. its most recent singles victory on the World Cup circuit, which also came in Sigulda. And she wasn’t even born when Germany last failed to have a woman reach the medal podium after a race on tour.
Improbable as it sounds, both things happened Saturday. The 21-year-old Hansen capped her win with a track-record run in the second heat, while Germany - which in fairness kept its top three sliders, including World Cup champion Natalie Geisenberger, out of the competition so they could prepare for the Olympics instead - had no one finish better than seventh, an absolute rarity for the deepest team in the world.
“This is a momentous occasion,” USA Luge spokesman Sandy Caligiore said.
Hansen’s two-run time was 1 minute, 23.976 seconds. Canada’s Alex Gough led after the first run but finished second, 0.076 seconds off Hansen’s pace. Natalia Khoreva of Russia took third, 0.176 seconds back and Hamlin was fourth for the Americans.
The other U.S. slider in the race, Summer Britcher, took 12th.
Whether the German best were there or not, it was still a breakthrough for Hansen.
The U.S. national champion held the lead at the midway point of the season-opening race at Lillehammer, Norway, then slipped all the way back to 12th in the second heat. And before Saturday, she had never even medaled in a World Cup race.
Now she’s heading to her first Olympics knowing how winning feels.
“I don’t know if the pressure with regard to the upcoming Olympic Games will be greater now,” Hansen said. “It’s a good question. But we’ll see.”
Geisenberger, who clinched the World Cup title a week earlier, finished the season with 785 standings points. Gough was second with 626, Germany’s Tatjana Huefner was third with 551, followed by Germany’s Anke Wischnewski (493) and Eitberger (432).
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014