Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah
Date Started: February 12, 2002
Date Finished: February 13, 2002
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
The women’s luge provided the most predictable result of the entire 2002 Winter Olympic Games. You could make a strong case that German national championships were a better quality event than the one that took place in Salt Lake City and to be picked for the German Olympic team was, barring disasters, a ticket to the podium. To the surprise of absolutely no one Germany swept the medals and the trio of Sylke Otto, Barbara Niedernhuber and Silke Kraushaar set the three fastest times in all four runs. Sylke Otto made her Olympic début in 1992 but, despite being one of the best in the world throughout the 90s, she was overlooked in 1994 and 1998 for the Olympic team, but successive world titles in 2000 and 2001 sealed her place in Park City. Barbara Niedernhuber who finished behind Otto in second was a silver medal specialist and won two Olympic medals and five World Championship medals of that colour.
This was the first medal sweep for a unified Germany in this event although the GDR had performed this feat on three occasions (1972,1984,1988) and the 1976 podium was shared between East and West German lugers.
The only crash of the competition was a spectacular one. Iginia Boccalandro’s only run, already a wild one, ended when she was violently thrown from her sled and came close to being thrown over the wall and into the crowd. She bounced off the wall and slid in an undignified heap around another two corners eventually coming to rest in the middle of the next straight. The Venezuelan suffered only bruising and ice burns. Not so lucky was track worker Drake Self as he had the top of the index finger sliced off attempting to retrieve her sled.
|5||Becky Wilczak||21||United States||USA||2:54.254|
|8||Ashley Hayden||20||United States||USA||2:54.658|
|13||Courtney Zablocki||21||United States||USA||2:55.154|
|19||Markéta Jeriová||25||Czech Republic||CZE||2:56.130|
|23||Angie Paul||26||New Zealand||NZL||2:56.475|
|26||Anne Abernathy||48||United States Virgin Islands||ISV||2:58.429|
|28||Dinah Browne||32||United States Virgin Islands||ISV||2:59.745|