Like her sport, Erin Hamlin is not one of the big names you’ll hear leading up the games, but the 23-year-old is in the perfect position to claim her first Olympic medal in singles luge.

Luge falls into the same family as the bobsled and skeleton. Racers lie on their back and sled down a track feet first. Unlike the bobsled, which is partially encompassed, the luge looks as if the racer is simply sliding down the track on their back.

After making the US team in 2006, Hamlin has taken America’s female presence in the sport to a new level. About a year ago, Hamlin shocked the world when she won the World Championships, snapping Germany’s 99-race winning streak and becoming the first American women to win gold in the event.

By Archive