Bill and Carrie Britcher talk about their daughter's return to the Olympic luge competition.
OBERHOF, Germany – It turned into a heavy-medal Sunday for Summer Britcher.
The 25-year-old woman from Glen Rock earned a pair of medals in World Cup luge action.
The two-time Olympian rose from fifth place after the first heat to claim a bronze medal in women's singles action on the short, but demanding track in Oberhof.
The Susquehannock High School graduate then raced the lead leg in the team relay event, pacing the American team to the silver medal.
In the women's singles event, Britcher had the second-fastest final run to secure her fourth World Cup singles medal of the season. She is currently ranked sixth in the overall World Cup standings. With the relay silver, Britcher has five total medals in the World Cup season.
"I was just having fun sliding," Britcher said on the USA Luge website. "I knew I had some time in my first run. I just stayed calm. I focused on myself and let it rip.”
Germany’s Anna Berreiter won the women’s race, followed by Tatyana Ivanova of Russia in second and Britcher in third. Ivanova pulled 12 points ahead of Germany’s Julia Taubitz for the women’s season points title with two races left.
Ivanova and Taubitz are the only contenders remaining for the season title. Ivanova is bidding to be the first non-German woman to win the title since Gerda Weissensteiner won it for Italy in 1997-98.
Relay success, Sweeney injury: In the team relay, the Americans managed their first podium result of the season. The U.S. team was edged by just 0.07 of a second by Germany. Britcher was joined in the event by Tucker West and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman
“It was nice to have things go a little bit our way in this race,” said U.S. head coach Bill Tavares. “Summer had two solid runs (in women's singles). We’ve been struggling to make sure we get good consistency.”
The Americans, however, finished the day without Emily Sweeney, who pulled out of the women’s race after one run after apparently re-aggravating a neck injury that forced her to miss some time earlier this season. Sweeney suffered neck and back fractures in a frightening crash at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and is still dealing with some of the aftereffects of those injuries.
Later Sunday, USA Luge announced Sweeney had decided to end her season and will be returning to the U.S.
Britcher had a pair of women's singles runs that totaled 1:22.940, finishing 0.1 of a second from Berreiter.
The American foursome combined for three consistent runs and a total of 2 minutes, 22.748 seconds. Six teams later, Germany edged the U.S. in 2:22.678.
“I had an amazing run,” Britcher said of her opening relay leg. “It’s so much fun to race in the team relay, especially when you have a great team behind you, and I had that with these boys here. I had a ton of fun, a beautiful run, and I’m just lucky I had some teammates that could back it up.”
Up next for Britcher is the World Championships in Sochi set for Feb. 14-16.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. USA Luge and The Associated Press contributed to this story.