Kate Hansen 'focused' on eve of Olympics debut

With members of her family now having joined her in Sochi, Russia, Kate Hansen is zeroing in on her Winter Olympics debut.

Hansen, a 2010 La Cañada High graduate, will make her first Olympics run in the women’s singles luge on Monday at 6:30 a.m. PDT (6:30 p.m. in Sochi).

“Kate [is] doing well,” emailed Kathie Hansen on Sunday morning from Sochi. “She is focused.”

Kate’s parents Kathie and John made the trip to Sochi earlier in the week along with two of their children and are joined by a small contingent of friends from La Cañada Flintridge.

Kathie emailed that the facilities were “spectacular,” the weather was “pleasant” and security was “very tight” with “police stationed everywhere.”

“We feel very safe,” Kathie emailed.

Though qualifying rounds in some sports began earlier, opening ceremonies were held on Friday.

“She loved the opening ceremonies,” Kathie emailed. “It was surreal. She cried.”

As the United States walked out, as telecast on NBC, at one point, Kate, along with her teammates were seen up close, with the majority shouting, “USA!” and Kate getting choked up and wiping away a tear.

The youngest of four following brother Christian, 29, sister Heidi, 26, and brother Davis, 24, the 21-year-old Kate qualified for the Olympics in her second attempt after falling just short in 2009. Kate qualified in December of last year and subsequently made history when she won the final leg of the World Cup luge series in Sigulda, Latvia on Jan. 25. She was the first American woman to win a World Cup event in 17 years and finished seventh in the World Cup standings. She will make two runs on Monday and two runs on Tuesday with the possibility of her placement among teammates putting her in place to be a part of the luge relay on Wednesday, which is making its Olympic debut.

Kate’s star has slowly been building after qualifying for the Olympics, as her  Twitter followers have more than quadrupled, with plenty of media coverage from Brigham Young University, where she attends, the Los Angeles Times and others doing stories and Yahoo! Sports tabbing her as a potential “America’s Sweetheart” for the upcoming Winter Games.

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