- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP) - For USA Luge, winter has started.

And for Erin Hamlin, a quest for another Olympic medal is officially underway.

Hamlin is among a group of six Americans - all Olympic veterans - who started preseason on-ice training in Lillehammer, Norway, on Friday. Hamlin, of Remsen, New York, had not been down a track since her bronze-medal-clinching run at the Sochi Games in February.

“I want to get comfortable on the sled again and get back into it,” said Hamlin, the 2009 world champion and the first American to win a singles luge medal at an Olympics. “I want to have fun. The ‘having fun’ mindset worked for me in Sochi.”

Also representing USA Luge in Norway for the next week or so: Julia Clukey, Chris Mazdzer, Tucker West and the newly assembled doubles team of Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman, both of whom worked with other sledmates in the past.

Many international teams are in Norway to take advantage of early season ice. USA Luge’s home base in Lake Placid, New York, is not scheduled to open for sliding until Oct. 18.

The American contingent plans to train in Norway until Oct. 12. It is scheduled to compete in the Lillehammer Cup on Oct. 11, a preseason race before the start of the World Cup schedule.

“I know that Norway tries hard to get the ice ready,” Clukey said. “I’ll be trying to get a good rhythm for the World Cup season. Sliding is something I love to do and it’s a bonus to be able to do it.”

USA Luge’s national championships are in Lake Placid from Nov. 1-2.

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