How Erin Hamlin changed the culture of USA Luge

How Erin Hamlin changed the culture of USA Luge

Team USA chose Olympic luge athlete Erin Hamlin to carry the American flag during Friday's Opening Ceremony at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and her fellow team member is furious.

Understandable, considering Hamlin failed to make a podium in either of the two World Cup seasons leading up to the Sochi Games.

Double gold medallist speed skater Shani Davis has slammed Team USA for acting "dishonestly" after tossing a coin to decide who would be their flag bearer. United States' representative for the opening ceremony had four votes for him and four votes for luge athlete Erin Hamlin.

Voting for Hamlin and speedskater Shani Davis was tied for the honor, which led to the victor being chosen by a coin toss. A tie, per USOC rules, is broken by a coin flip.

And as for the coin toss being "dishonorable", the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed that everyone involved in the process was aware that, in the event of a tie, a coin toss would be the tiebreaker.

"Many athletes from all of the countries debate whether or not to attend the Opening Ceremony", the U.S. Speedskating rep told TheWrap.

How Erin Hamlin changed the culture of USA Luge
How Erin Hamlin changed the culture of USA Luge

Alcott competed at four Winter Olympics herself and she has revealed the struggle that athletes face behind the scenes as they wait to follow the flag bearer out.

It was later announced that Davis would not take part in the opening ceremony. "Now being voted flag bearer is a whole new level", Hamlin said in a statement.

"It's sad that Shani wanted it and didn't get it, and this is probably his last Olympics", Mantia said, shrugging off Davis' reference to 2022. However, Davis, who was also one of the finalists, included the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth2018 in a tweet. "But this is something that has to be kind of given to me by my peers, and that's really special", Hamlin said.

"I was so happy for her", USA doubles Olympian Jayson Terdiman said. Davis is in his fifth Olympics and has won two golds and two silvers (one each in Turin and Vancouver).

The Pyeongchang Olympics have begun with a curling competition featuring a pair of US siblings in a showdown against a Russian husband-and-wife team competing in neutral uniforms with no national insignia.

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