Alex Gough earned Canada’s first Olympic medal in luge history on Tuesday when she captured bronze in the women’s individual event at the PyeongChang Games.
Participating in its fourth Games, the Calgary athlete completed all four runs with a time of three minutes 5.644 seconds (3: 05.644).
Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger took her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in 3: 05.232, while her compatriot Dajana Eitberger took second place in 3: 05.599, repeating the German double of the Sochi Games in 2014.
Gough was third after the first two runs on Monday with a combined time of 1: 32.645, just 0.191 seconds behind Geisenberger at the Olympic Sliding Center.
The 30-year-old Canadian kept that position after her third run of 46.425 seconds, 0.336 behind Geisenberger, and only 0.017 behind Tatjana Huefner, who was second. She was unable to further narrow the gap after clocking 46.574 seconds in the fourth inning.
In last Winter Games
Sochi’s scenario seemed to be drawing for Gough, who finished in fourth place at the last Winter Games when Eitberger’s strong run in the last set made him lose one place.
But the German Huefner made a mistake in her final run, right after Gough, allowing the Canadian to reach the podium.
“I am exalted. I’m on a cloud, said Gough. Especially after having experienced the bitter disappointment of finding myself behind Eitberger and probably in fourth place again, seeing this turnaround and finding myself with a medal is simply extraordinary.”
At her second Olympic Games, Kimberley McRae of Calgary was fifth in 3: 05.878, while Brooke Apshkrum of Calgary was 13th in 3: 07.102.
Gough had missed the bronze medal by 433 thousandths of a second behind American Erin Hamlin in Sochi, while McRae finished 75 hundredths of a podium finish.
Alex Gough, as well as Canadian Luphers Sam Edney in the individual downhill and Tristan Walker and Justin Snith in doubles, also had a frustrating fourth place in the relay four years ago in Russia.
The quartet was close to being awarded the first Olympic luge medal in December after two Russian opponents were among the 40 athletes in that country to have their 2014 results canceled and suspended for life following ‘allegations of doping.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport found that the evidence was insufficient and canceled the sanctions against 28 of these athletes. Including the luge Albert Demchenko and Tatiana Ivanova.