The United States had never claimed an Olympic medal in the history of the singles luge event, until Tuesday. Erin Hamlin finished her finals run in 3:21.145 to take the bronze medal, just 1.377 seconds behind dominant gold-medal winner Natalie Geisenberger of Germany and less than half a second ahead of Alex Gough of Canada. Germany's Tatjana Huefner took silver in the event.
The 26-year-old Geisenberger showed once again how far ahead she is of anyone in her sport by posting the second-largest margin of victory (1.139 seconds) in Olympic history. But for the Americans, Hamlin was the story.
Hamlin was previously world champion in 2009, she finished in 12th place in the event during the Games in Turin and 16th in Vancouver just four years ago, where extenuating circumstances caused a change in sliders' start positions following a death on the track during a training exercise.
But Hamlin has been consistent in all her runs leading up to the final event, and it all culminated with her country's first medal in the 50 years since luge became an event in the Winter Olympics.