MIDLAND (WJRT) -
(2/12/13)- A big win for Team USA at the Winter Olympics with an assist from Midland's Dow Chemical Company. Erin Hamlin made history Tuesday, winning the bronze medal in the women's single luge competition, and a team of local scientists helped design the equipment she used to slide to victory.
Hamlin broke a 50-year long dry spell for America.
"We were so excited for Erin," said Scott Burr, Product Development Group Leader for Dow Chemical.
Burr and the rest of the group who helped design the sled in Midland are celebrating the win.
"We gathered around and watched it in the conference room," said Jay Tudor, a Dow Chemical research scientist.
Hamlin marked her name in the Olympic record book, by securing a third place finish in single luge for the United States.
"A U.S. rider has never won a medal in singles competition so this is it, this is the first time someone has broken through," said Burr.
Hamlin's huge win is a result of her hard work, dedication and focus. The fast paced intense sport requires strict attention and discipline, every 1-thousandth of a second matters, and so does equipment. Dow Chemical redesigned Team USA's sleds, with a goal to make them faster and more precise. They started working on the equipment in 2007.
"It was a big team effort, it was probably at least a dozen people here that worked on it," said Tudor.
The group is proud of the team, and of Dow's contributions to the medal-winning effort.
"It really validates what we've been doing and our approach," said Tudor.
The Midland crew is already working on new ideas to push Team USA even further ahead the next time around.
"We'll celebrate and have a great time, and then get right back to work," said Burr.
"We have things going on in the lab as we speak, right now. We are not going to quit," added Tudor.
So far Hamlin is the only American to win a medal in the luge competitions. There is one race left to go, team relays are Thursday.