Given Bonny Warner's usual luck, which is sensational, she might well have realized her dream of finishing among the Top 10 in the luge singles, something no U.S. Olympian, male or female, had ever done. The 21-year-old Stanford junior from Mt. Baldy, Calif. was eighth after two of the four runs. But then in the last turn of the third—whammo! "I had a good run going, my best," she said. "Then on the eighth turn I started feeling bad. I was losing it a bit in Turn 9—you get out of rhythm and you're in trouble. Through 10 and 11 I was all over the place, and I came out of 11 real bad. I went up the wall in 12, and I flipped. Sometimes you flip. But I wasn't going to let go of that sled [and thereby be eliminated from the competition] for anything. I was on my side and sliding. I tried to pull myself back on. You've got to get over the line with your sled, and I made it, but I lost a lot of time." Officials helped her to her feet at the end of her 40-foot slide to the finish. She was shaken but unhurt—and had dropped to 16th place in the standings.
"Crashes in luge are spectacular but seldom serious," said U.S. team manager (Bullet) Bob Hughes. "She'll be back tomorrow." She was indeed, with her latest dream—a finish in the Top 15. In the final heat she had her fastest run of the week. And, yep, she finished 15th.
This is the same Bonny Warner who in 1979 spotted an ad for a contest to pick torch-bearers for the '80 Winter Games. She entered—and wound up being selected. As a result of her visit to Lake Placid, she took a liking to luge and worked two weeks at Captain Billy's Whizz Bang deli in exchange for a sled. She won $5,000 in yet another contest—and was off to Germany for some luge training. In '83 she placed seventh in the worlds. "I'll be there in '88," she says, "and no crashes."