No one stops luge competitor Kate Hansen from having fun, whether it's in the surf and sun of Southern California or the snow in Sochi. Fred Roggin reports.
Southern Californian Kate Hansen captured a top-10 finish Tuesday against the world's best in women's luge as the La Canada High School graduate competed in her first Olympics.
Standings: Women's Luge Results
Hansen was 10th after Monday's first two runs at the Rzhanaya Polyana luge course. She held on with two aggressive runs on Tuesday.
"It was so fun," Hansen said. "It was probably the most fun I've had sliding in a long time.
"I didn't make a fool out of myself, so I'm just stoked to be here."
Watch: Kate Hansen is "Stoked"
The 2010 La Canada Flintridge High School graduate, who has drawn attention for her pre-race ritual that involves dancing to Beyonce, said she "would love a top-10 finish" against a field of 31 top-flight lugers. After her final run Tuesday, she danced in front of Team USA's fans at the finish line.
Hansen was in 10th Monday following the completion of the first runs with a time of 50.794 seconds. Hansen's second run was faster, 50.581, the 11th fastest overall -- fast enough to keep her in 10th with a two-run total time of 1:41.375, 1.561 behind the leader, Natalie Geisenberger of Germany.
The 21-year-old finished her first Tuesday run at 50.793. Hansen finished her fourth run in 50.499, securing a top-10 finish.
Her fans again plan to gather at her family's La Canada Flintridge restaurant to cheer the hometown star. Tuesday's viewing party at Los Gringos Locos restaurant is 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hansen, who has been involved in luge since she was 10, is coming off a training accident in October in which she broke her foot. Despite the injury, she went on to win the USA Luge National Championship with a cast on her foot.
Germany's Natalie Geisenberger won the gold medal and American Erin Hamlin became the first U.S. woman to medal in the sport, earning bronze. Three times in Olympic singles luge history, a U.S. man or woman has finished in fourth. The U.S. has four Olympic luge medals, all in doubles, two silver and two bronze.
Sochi 2014: Galleries, TV Schedule
By comparison, Germany — if combining the days when the nation was split into East and West — has 52 Olympic singles luge medals, 71 overall at the games. That's about a couple dozen more than all other nations combined.