‘Couldn’t be happier’ – Ireland’s Desmond beams after brilliant Olympic debut

IRELAND’S ELSA DESMOND says she “couldn’t be happier” after a brilliant display in the Women’s Singles Luge at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Desmond finished her maiden Olympic Games with another clean run, completing her third run with a time of 1:02.254, which was her second fastest on the track.

Added to run one and two, Desmond finished her event in 33rd position with an overall time of 3:03.07.719.


The top twenty athletes from run three moved to the final round, meaning that Desmond’s third run was her final one. The Women’s Singles was won by Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger.

The 24-year-old Desmond, who is first Ireland’s first competitor at a Games in the luge, was relieved to end her competition with such a strong score.

“This is the second fastest time that I ever got here,” she said after her event, “there was definite issues between curve two and three. I’ve only ever got it right twice prior to this. It’s a section I haven’t got my head around and you get that sometimes.

“But unlike yesterday’s second run I recovered it much quicker, and I managed to relax into the sled I didn’t manage to do in the second run yesterday.

“I had a couple of taps with my feet down, but it was nothing major. It was consistent with training but a little bit quicker. I’ll take it, I finished three runs, I couldn’t be happier.”

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“I’ve dreamed of this as long as I can remember and I’m here and I did it and I didn’t do anything ridiculous and end up on my face. Why would I not be absolutely ecstatic? I know my parents are at home watching and wish they were here and will be so so proud. I can’t wait to talk to them, I know my mum will be in tears.”

Team Ireland will have two athletes in action tomorrow, with Tess Arbez competing in the Slalom, while Seamus O’Connor is set to become a three-time Olympian, competing in the Snowboard Halfpipe qualifying rounds.

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