Dancing duo continue Germany’s luge dominance with women’s doubles gold
As the German women’s luge doubles team of Jessica Degenhardt and Vanessa Schneider prepared for their gold medal-winning race, they danced together at the top of the Olympia Bob Run.
“It’s what we always do,” Schneider said. “We dance directly before the start.
“It’s just our thing, our preparation. It keeps us loose and loose is fast.”
Their exuberant preparation paid dividends. Germany sped to their fifth medal of the luge competition, finishing in 1 minute, 51.443 seconds. Degenhardt had already won a silver medal in the women’s singles event.
Canada took silver thanks to the efforts of Natalie Corless and Caitlin Nash, who became the first female doubles team to compete at a World Cup event in December 2019. They were trailed by bronze medallists Viktorija Ziedina and Selina Zvilna (LAT).
“We had our 15 minutes of fame a month ago at the World Cup,” Corless said. “But this is absolutely ridiculous. I have never experienced anything like this.”
Earlier in the day a blanket of snow had drifted across the track during the luge men’s singles competition, altering the complexion of this famously fast surface.
The slower conditions did not distract Gints Berzins (LAT), however. The 17-year-old descended the course in a combined time of 1:48.045 over two runs.
“I thought the race was going to be more difficult because sleds are not as fast in the snow,” Berzins said. “I was a little bit scared and stressed, as I like to go fast and this is normally one of the fastest tracks.
“It feels super amazing to win gold. I cannot feel any happier. When I was on the podium I felt hypnotised. It is an amazing day for me.”
Behind him, Pavel Repilov (RUS) took the silver medal, having posted a time 0.184 seconds slower than the Latvian, while Germany’s Timon Grancagnolo added to his country’s impressive showing in luge throughout the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games with bronze.
“This is the greatest feeling I’ve ever had,” he said. “I’m a little surprised to win a medal as I didn’t have the best training.
“I am in a state of shock.”