Olympic luger Mortensen joins Hamlin in retiring
(AP) — Matt Mortensen, a two-time Olympian in doubles luge and a five-time national champion, announced his retirement from sliding Wednesday after a career that spanned 20 years.
Mortensen is the second member of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in luge at Pyeongchang to retire.
Erin Hamlin, a two-time world champion and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, announced during the season that the Pyeongchang Games would mark the end of her stellar career.
Mortensen went to the Olympics in 2014 and 2018.
He and his most recent doubles partner, Jayson Terdiman, were third in the overall World Cup standings in 2016-17 and fifth this past season.
Mortensen indicated at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February that retirement was a serious option, but took several months before making the decision final.
He represented the U.S. both on and off the ice, first as a member of USA Luge’s national team and also as a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
“Luge has been an almost lifelong journey for me, as I first came into contact with the sport at the age of 11,” Mortensen wrote in his retirement announcement.
“It has taught me many things, from the true meaning of hard work and dedication, to focus and determination, to responsibility and trust.”
Mortensen got his start in luge as a singles slider and was highly accomplished in the junior ranks, before eventually turning his focus to doubles.
He and Terdiman both went to the Sochi Olympics four years ago with other teammates, then got together after those games and clicked almost immediately — going on to win World Cup medals and being part of the team that narrowly missed bronze in the team relay in Pyeongchang.
That turned out to be Mortensen’s final competitive international race.