Currently ranked 14th in the world, Summer Britcher was considered by many as a surprise addition to the US Olympic luge team. However the 19-year-old had no doubts: "I don’t know why people were surprised. I knew I could make it and I did.”
Before making her Olympic debut at the Sanki Sliding Centre, Britcher, who won gold in the team relay at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, embraced the crown. And, after finishing a respectable 15th after her two runs , her sincere smile displayed her sheer joy at being an Olympian.
"It's the Olympics, of course I am happy; tell me how many people make it here", she said enthusiastically.
The young American was definitely a crowd favourite, as she waved and smiled at the starting line. "The atmosphere at the Olympics is incomparable. I have seen this at the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and I am absorbing it now. I love the people and am thankful for their support."
Britcher struggled during training in the days leading up to the competition, hitting walls and skidding at the bottom of the track. But she was able to fix her mistakes before her run, giving her one of the best times the luger has ever posted.
Britcher aims to keep on improving on ice and take Sochi as a bitter-sweet learning curve. "I won't medal this time but I am off to a good start. Sochi has been a huge learning experience."
"I am just trying to have fun. That’s something that I really struggle with. I take everything too seriously sometimes. I was just up there reminding myself that I do this because I enjoy it and to have a good time”, she said. “And I did.”
Other YOGgie lugers Ulla Zirn (LAT), Mirima Kastlunger (AUT) and Andrea Voetter (ITA) also put in respectable performances,