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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Local Fans Cheer Olympian Kate Hansen

Fans of Winter Olympic luger, Kate Hansen, cheer her on during her competition days. 

More than 200 fans of U.S. Olympic luger, Kate Hansen, flooded Los Gringos Restaurant Monday morning to watch the athlete compete in her event.

Ben Hansen, the co-owner of the food establishment, distributed rally towels and shirts to the crowd in order to lift energy and create excitement. 

Luge is one of the fastest sports in the Winter Olympics. Lugers steer a sled on slick ice, reaching speeds up to 90 mph. Kate Hansen finished her first day of competition in 10th place. 

Hansen began luging when she was 10 years old after her father exposed her to the sport at a USA luge “slider search” in Long Beach.

Some community members remember Hansen as a child skating down the street while she practiced. Few gathered at Los Gringos are surprised that she made it as far as the Winter Olympics. 

Many of Hansen’s fans are cheering her on from her alma mater, La Canada High School. Her high school counselor, Sandy Spangler, believes that Hansen’s commitment and drive helped her balance training as rigorous academics.

Hansen is currently a student at Brigham Young University and will compete in her final two runs on Tuesday. 

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