Summer Britcher, who last month qualified for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Luge Team, seems to be rounding into top form at just the right time.
She won the women’s singles world cup race Saturday in Lillehammer, Norway. The victory – which saw her edge out defending Olympic champion and three-time singles world champion Natalie Geisenberger of Germany – was the first by an American in a singles world cup outside of North America since Kate Hansen in 2014.
Britcher, who helped the U.S. relay team to its first podium finish of the season with a silver medal at the world cup in Koenigssee, Germany two weeks ago, now has four career wins and eight individual word cup medals. It marked her first since the 2015-16 season, when she won both the singles and sprint races in Park City, Utah, and sprint race in Calgary, Alberta.
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Three of her podiums have come this season, with the first five arriving in 2015-16.
The now-23-year-old stood atop the women’s standings halfway through that season before finishing fifth at the end. A shoulder injury slowed her down last season, forcing her to miss the last race.
After sitting in second halfway through Saturday’s race, she posted the top time of the day in her second run at 47.594 seconds, erasing any doubt that she was back to full health.
A native of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, Britcher has been sliding her way to success since reaching the international stage with a gold medal in the relay at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games. She finished 15th at her Olympic debut in Sochi in 2014.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.