United States

New York's History-Making Winter Olympian Trains in a Barn

What to Know

  • One of luge's most known female athletes, Erin Hamlin became the first from the United States to win an Olympic singles luge medal
  • She was born in New Hartford, New York, and her family now lives in Remsen, where she often trains when home
  • Pyeongchang is Hamlin's fourth and final (she says) Olympics; she was selected as the US flagbearer for the opening ceremony

There is nothing glamorous about Erin Hamlin’s home gym.

Instead of world-class athletes, the structure houses three horses. Gym rats are, literally, rats. Weights have to be found under piles of hay.

That is because when Hamlin returns home, she trains in a barn.

“[My family and I] have learned how to get creative to achieve optimal training tools at home,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin, who was chosen as Team USA's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony, normally trains at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. But the 2014 Olympic luge bronze medalist utilizes a barn on her family’s 75-acre property when she returns home to Remsen.

A cousin, who is a welder, installed the metal handles that are used at the luge start into the barn’s floor. Hamlin recruits her parents to help with timing and filming. Her two brothers often participate in the workouts. 

“The phrase ‘it takes a village’ is also 100 percent true,” Hamlin said.

To simulate a luge run, Hamlin will even jump on a sled with wheels and propel herself forward down the middle of a road.

So when in Remsen, don’t be surprised if you see Hamlin speeding by on a sled.

“[I] usually gets some odd looks,” she said. 

Copyright NBC Olympics - Pyeongchang
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