With four top 5 finishes in her last four World Cup series races, Erin Hamlin is sliding well heading into next month's Winter Olympics outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
But as to the reasons for Hamlin's recent consistent streak? Her guess is as good as mine.
"I really couldn't I really couldn’t’ tell you," Hamlin said Wednesday during a conference call with U.S. Luge teammates in Oberhof, Germany.
"I feel good on the sled and my sliding has felt good, too. Everything has come together and I've got the rhythm of the track. My first runs have been very good runs. I've been able to focus on the nit-picky small things."
In World Cup races, Hamlin said sliders get six runs on a track before racing. With a good first run line, it allows her to look at details of a run rather than thinking only about just getting down the track.
Another year of experience might also be a factor, she said.
Hamlin's recent performance comes at a good time. There are two more World Cup races before the Olympics. This weekend, the U.S. lugers are in Oberhof and in Cesana, Italy Jan. 30-31.
"It feels good," she said. "It gives me less to worry about and I want to focus on the extra things that give you one-thousandth of a second. Being on a consistent streak, where I haven't been is nice."
Hamlin earned her second World Cup series medal last weekend with a third-place finish in Winterberg, Germany. The reigning women's World Champion also got on the podium earlier this season with a third place in Lillehammer, Norway for her first World Cup medal.
The U.S. singles sliders arrive in Whistler on Feb. 9. The luge Olympic competition is Feb. 13-17 and the women's singles competition Feb. 15-16.
Hamlin has a good recent history at Whistler. She was fifth there in last year's final World Cup event.
For U.S. men's singles slider Tony Benshoof, of Minnesota, who was fourth at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, the Whistler comes close to reaching the limit for speed.
"It's a tough track, no question," said Benshoof, USA Luge's singles leader in international medals. "The track is the the fastest in the world, hands down. There's no debating that."
The length of the men's track at the Whistler Sliding Centre is 4,507 feet to 3,930 feet for the women's track and the distance makes a difference.
"They're going at 60 miles per hour by the time we enter at curve 3," Hamlin said. "We don't pick up speed until curves, 9 to 11. It's still a challenge, it's very technical. I like it and enjoy a more technical track. The men, for sure, have it a little tougher. I'm glad I'm a girl."