Quick, name the most charismatic athlete on the international luging scene? OK, name any athlete on the international luging scene?
If you had an answer to those questions, chances are it was Kate Hansen – the native Californian who has gained fame this week after cameras caught her busting a move to Beyonce before her runs.
The infectious attitude and enviable moves have led to more than 80 articles on Hansen popping up in recent days. For her part, the SoCal native was just trying to stay focused on the challenge ahead of her.
Hansen’s sister is actually a writer for KPIX 5. The two appeared on the 11 p.m. news via skype Monday night, the eve of the luge final.
During the interview, Hansen revealed a little more about her superstitious side, saying “I actually have a pair of shoes that I’ve worn since middle school on every race day since I was 15 and they’ve brought me some pretty good luck.”
As far as the medal hunt goes, the 21-year-old’s luck ran out Tuesday. She finished 10th in the final, nearly 3 seconds off of the gold medal pace. Her teammate Erin Hamlin took home the bronze.
Hansen finished 10th on Tuesday in her Olympic debut. “Today was amazing. Today was so much fun,” she told KCBS after her race. “I’m just grateful that I didn’t make a fool out of myself and laid down some pretty solid runs.”
Hansen’s teammate Erin Hamlin finished third, grabbing the first medal for any American singles luge athlete at the Olympics. Fellow American Summer Britcher placed 15th.
While Hansen’s time on the luge track is done, she will be sticking around for the rest of the competition, to experience the Olympics as a fan. “I’ve dreamed about this my whole life, so I’ll definitely be having a good time over here,” she said.
Although she won’t be taking home a medal, Hansen may very well be the athlete of the Olympics so far, as video of her pre-race routine has gone viral.
“I broke my foot, so I couldn’t run to properly warm up. But I love to dance so I started to dance a little bit,” Hansen said. “I could dance in place and that would get my body warmed up for training. And ever since then, before every World Cup and every training session, I dance. And I dance only to Beyonce because she gets me so stoked.”
Hansen said the pre-race ritual has been successful, as she’s had the best season of her career so far. “Plus, it’s a lot more fun than doing lame stretches,” she said.