Berliner Tageblatt - 'Feels like being drunk' - Nolte blazes to Olympic bobsleigh gold

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'Feels like being drunk' - Nolte blazes to Olympic bobsleigh gold
'Feels like being drunk' - Nolte blazes to Olympic bobsleigh gold / Photo: ©

'Feels like being drunk' - Nolte blazes to Olympic bobsleigh gold

Laura Nolte said she felt drunk on success after blazing to Olympic gold in the two-women bobsleigh Saturday, just a year after winning the junior world title, as Germany again ruled at the Winter Games sliding centre.

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"It feels like we're a bit drunk," joked the German pilot.

"Just being at an Olympics is a dream, but to win gold?! Who'd have thought that."

Nolte and her brakewoman Deborah Levi dominated, setting track records in three of the four heats to clock a combined winning time of 4min 3.96sec.

"It's indescribable. You can never relax on this track and we treated each race like we were starting from scratch, perhaps that made the difference," added Nolte.

The 23-year-old left a field of former Olympic medallists in her wake with German team-mate and 2018 Pyeongchang champion Miriama Jamanka second, 0.77sec behind.

"I just heard I'm the youngest pilot to win a medal -- there is more to come," said Nolte.

USA pilot Elana Meyers Taylor was third at 1.52sec to win the fifth Olympic medal of her career and the second of these Games after taking monobob silver.

The 37-year-old said it was "pretty cool" that she is the most decorated black athlete at an Olympic Winter Games.

She said US bobsleddder Vonetta Flowers, the first black athlete to win a Winter Games gold in 2002, "is the reason I'm here".

"It's just been such a long legacy of black athletes at the Winter Olympics and hopefully it just continues."

Her USA team-mate Kaillie Humphries, the 2010 and 2014 two-woman Olympic champion and the monobob gold medallist in Beijing, lost time in Saturday's opening heat and ended up seventh.

It was a stunning display by Nolte, who earned a world bronze last year and has racked up 14 podium places on the World Cup circuit since her debut season of 2019/20.

Having finished fourth in the monobob on Monday, Nolte was peerless Saturday, clocking a top speed of 133 kilometres per hour (83 miles per hour) on her third run.

The German was particularly pleased to "tame that stupid dragon" as the Yanqing track, nicknamed "The Snow Dragon', had given her problems in the monobob.

Nolte and Levi's victory means Germany have won eight of nine events at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre and German racers have won 14 of the 27 medals available.

They can make it nine victories from ten in the men's four-man event on Sunday with Francesco Friedrich holding a narrow lead over fellow German pilot Johannes Lochner going into the final day.