Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:00 am
US lugers left emotional after harrowing day
DAEGWALLYEONG, South Korea – They walked away from the luge track one after the next, the three leading women of American luge, each sad and shaken.
The one who finished in 19th place said her performance was “incredibly devastating.” The one who finished in sixth place, the last Olympic race of her career, said she just wanted to go to bed and sleep. The one who crashed, caromed, and didn't finish was most upset, evaluated by doctors who detected neither head trauma nor broken bones, but crying nonetheless.
Emily Sweeney's injury cast a pall over this race, a reminder of what can happen on an ice track when going 80 miles per hour downhill. Halfway through the course, she skidded and lost control. Her body ping-ponged through several turns. She flew off her sled and fell backward. Officials rushed over with a stretcher. But Sweeney hobbled away on her own.
“I'm fine,” she said.
Germany's Natalie Geisenberger defending her singles Olympic gold medal, but for the US, the evening was by turns harrowing and somber. Erin Hamlin, the last US luger of the night, finished sixth, coming .269 of a second shy of the podium. Summer Britcher placed 19th.
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