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Sochi Olympic luger, BYU student Kate Hansen will take year off from sport

It is official: Sochi 2014 luger Kate Hansen will take a year off from women’s luge competition with the U.S. national team and focus on bettering her pop and lock skills on the dance floor.

U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen.
U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

In all seriousness, Hansen will take one year off from her sport to focus on academics, according to a statement released by USA Luge on Tuesday, May 21. Hansen is currently a sophomore at BYU and would like to continue her studies there in the coming year.

Hansen finished 10th in Sochi but became a media darling for an entirely different reason, her pre-game dance routine. Unlike other athletes that might take a more mellow approach to their preparation, Hansen turned up her iPod full blast to Beyonce--her favorite artist--and pop and locked to get in the groove.

Her silky smooth moves made YouTube and went viral, making her an overnight sensation in Russia early on at the Sochi Olympics Scene. The infamous Kate Hansen wolf prank on Jimmy Kimmel also caused a stir in Sochi.

Hansen's pre-game dance routine did have its detractors, however, including notable former luge athletes who went on record saying Hansen might be making a mockery of their sport. But her unusual pre-race prep worked even after Sochi.

In her last World Cup event this year in Sigulda, Latvia she won her first-ever goal medal, besting her previous personal best, a 4th place finish in Park City, Utah. So for Hansen to take one year off after she just had her best season as a luger might seem strange to some--but then, you probably don't really know Hansen.

After Hansen wrapped up her most successful year in luge, she threw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game and inquired the music group One Direction on scoring tickets to their Rose Bowl concert for her and her home girls--you know, kids stuff.

So for now, Hansen just wants to be a 21-year-old kid and leave the grown-up stuff to Sochi 2014 bronze medalist Erin Hamlin. Hansen is content to let Hamlin carry the torch for a while longer--at least until it gets a bit closer to Pyeongchang, South Korea and the next Winter Olympics.

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