Luge Singles Champion Erin Hamlin '11 to Carry American Flag at Olympics Opening
By David Henahan, director of communications, SUNY Empire State College
February 8, 2018
Team USA has selected SUNY Empire State College alumna Erin Hamlin ’11 as its flagbearer for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to be held in PyeongChang, the Republic of Korea. Hamlin, 31, of Remsen, N.Y., won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in luge, women’s singles, the first American in Olympic history to win a luge singles medal. Opening ceremonies for the PyeongChang games are scheduled for Friday, Feb 9.
In Team USA’s announcement, Hamlin said, “Being named to an Olympic team is an amazing accomplishment and making four teams and winning the bronze medal is so much more than I could I have imagined I would accomplish. Now being voted flagbearer is a whole new level. Working hard and earning success is one thing, being acknowledged as a great representative and member of Team USA by fellow athletes – many of whom I have been inspired by – is above and beyond anything I’ve experienced. It is definitely a privilege and honor to be the one to lead the team and will be a very special moment. I can’t wait to share it with them all!”
“Erin Hamlin’s selection as flagbearer for the Winter Olympic Games is an amazing accomplishment for any athlete and we are so proud that she is an alumna of SUNY Empire,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Erin is an exceptional athlete and person and yet, in so many ways, she typifies SUNY Empire students and alumni. She sought out a high-quality education and completed her degree around her schedule. The flexibility of learning where and when it suits our students enabled Erin to complete her degree with us, even as she maintained a rigorous training schedule and traveled the world competing at the highest levels of national and international competition. Congratulations Erin, you have made all of us at SUNY Empire so proud and happy for you.”
“I had a great experience with everyone I worked with at Empire State College,” said Hamlin. “It was the first college situation that was affordable and easy to manage while training and competing. Renee O'Brien was my advisor and mentor, as well as photography professor. She helped me adjust classes and worked with my busy schedule, so I could complete my degree as efficiently as possible. As a proud New Yorker, I was very glad to have a state school program that fit my lifestyle.” The four-time Olympian and two-time world champion earned her A.A. in interdisciplinary studies online.
Hamlin is competing in her fourth consecutive Winter Olympic Games , however the 2018 Winter Olympics Games will be her last, as Hamlin previously announced she will be retiring from competition after the PyeongChang Games. Women’s luge competition begins Monday, Feb 12. Team USA’s announcement is available online.