Natalie Geisenberger has become Germany’s most successful ever Winter Olympian after helping her country complete a clean sweep of gold medals in the luge in Beijing.
The Germans took victory from Austria by eight-hundredths of a second in a nail biting team relay event.
With six gold medals to her name, as well as a lone bronze, Geisenberger is officially the most decorated Luge athlete of all time, as her country continues to dominate the sport.
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The German relay team also consisted of Johannes Ludwig - who backed up his singles gold, and doubles champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt.
Former British skeleton racer and 2010 Olympic champion Amy Williams told Eurosport it was “the most exciting luge race I’ve ever watched.”
“The Germans dominate. Their equipment, their sliding, they have four tracks to practice on. They just show the clear dominance of the sliding sports”, she said.
The medals and the record books show the power of the German team in the sport, but they found themselves behind in the relay as they searched for the full-house of luge triumphs.
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Williams has praised the calm approach of Wendl and Arlt, who were up last, saying “it was so close. The nerves, the excitement, the adrenaline that must be going through their body. You have to be as cool as a cucumber and not let that adrenaline take over.”
With such a high speed event flashing by in the blink of an eye, how were the German duo able to know what they needed to do and how much time they needed to catch up?
“I’m sure they would’ve had some inkling at the top. At the end of the day they have to forget the times and just do their thing on the sled. They know where to get the speed. They’ve practiced. They were gold medallists in their individual event”, Williams said.
You have to perform in that one moment.
Wendl and Arlt also now have six gold medals at the Games, matching Geisenberger’s incredible feat of winning every event they have entered at the Olympics since Sochi in 2014.
Williams thinks they deserve every plaudit they receive, saying “the amount of medals between all of those athletes is absolutely incredible.”
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Questions will now be asked of Geisenberger’s future, and whether after sealing her place in history she may now start thinking about life away from the sport.
“You never know, do you? She absolutely loves her sport. She’s dominated. She’s done so many Olympics. That’s her fourth one. Is she going to keep going? It will be the big question on a lot of people. At the end of every Olympics, there’s always a lull of some athletes that retire out and some that feel like they can crack on for another four years”, Williams told Eurosport.
“Whatever she chooses to do, she’s achieved everything you could ever dream of in a career.”
Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+.
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