Luger Summer Britcher Says Qualifying for Her Third Olympics Was 'Very Humbling'

·2 min read
Summer Britcher
Summer Britcher

Dan Istitene/Getty Summer Britcher

Summer Britcher has stared down an Olympic luge track before — and she's more prepared than ever to do it again.

While speaking with PEOPLE late last year, the athlete, who will compete for Team USA in Beijing next month at the 2022 Winter Olympics, says she's feeling humbled heading into what will be her third Games.

"It's my third Olympics. And I'm like, 'okay you don't know everything still,' " Britcher, 27, said. Adding, "It's intentionally humbling. Anything could happen good or bad and all that I can do is prepare and just perform all for myself and compete well."

She continued, "Hopefully, fingers crossed I'll come away with a medal, if not, I'm choosing to focus on one of the things I can do and not on that. You can't make yourself get an Olympic medal, there are too many other factors."

Britcher's first Games were in 2014, and she finished 19th in the women's luge event. At PyeongChang in 2018, she placed 15th.

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The athlete told PEOPLE that those outside factors affecting performance aren't just competitors — faulty equipment, inclement weather or accidents are always possible.

"I think I'm just focusing on what I can actually do and control — that is going to be a strategy that will hopefully help me succeed," she said.

Overall, she just wants to "have a good run, and have runs that I'm proud of down the track, whether I'm on the podium or not."

And Britcher was feeling "pretty confident" when she chatted with PEOPLE: "I am doing the right things to prepare and [I'm confident] that I will be in a good position that I can succeed."

Just last week, Britcher announced that she broke her middle finger in a crash at the Sigulda World Cup.

"With only 4 weeks until race day at the Olympics, the timing is terrible," she wrote. "What an inconvenience that I do the one sport where you repeatedly slam your fingertips into the ground as hard as you can 😑."

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Still, she said she'd be competing in Beijing: "With such a great team supporting me, I am confident that I will be recovered enough to pull and paddle my way to some fast start times in the Olympics."

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, beginning Feb 3, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.