IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The 'Go Face' unmasks the emotions behind Olympic lugers' helmets

There’s something about Olympic athletes that makes me shake my head in disbelief. Don’t get me wrong: I am amazed by (and slightly afraid of) their majestic strength and fearless nature, but I find myself staring at the TV with my mouth open wide, thinking, "There is no humanly possible way to be this composed all the time!"But then I saw this, a glimmer of hope for the devastatingly uncoordi
Two luge competitors make funny faces on the slopes
Kate Hansen of the United States and Semen Pavlichenko of Russia make great 'Go Faces' at the Sanki Sliding Center during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.AP; Getty Images

There’s something about Olympic athletes that makes me shake my head in disbelief. Don’t get me wrong: I am amazed by (and slightly afraid of) their majestic strength and fearless nature, but I find myself staring at the TV with my mouth open wide, thinking, "There is no humanly possible way to be this composed all the time!"

But then I saw this, a glimmer of hope for the devastatingly uncoordinated. The one moment that makes these Olympians seem human: The Go Face. It’s hard to come by, but every so often you can catch a glimpse of the athlete just moments before the action begins. And it is glorious.

So thank you, luge, for providing a clear view of the pinched, puckered and contorted faces that are too often hidden behind goggles and masks.

Tatjana Huefner of Germany prepares for her first run during the women's luge singles on Feb. 10.Alexander Hassenstein / Today

This is the face I would make if I was throwing myself down a frozen track at 90 mph, too.

Semen Pavlichenko of Russia prepares to make a run during the men's luge training session on Feb. 6.Julian Finney / Today

Think happy thoughts...think happy thoughts...

Team USA luger Kate Hansen starts her first run during the women's singles competition on Feb. 10.Jae C. Hong / Today

On Andrea, this is the face of intensity. On me, it would be pure regret.

Andrea Voetter of Italy starts her first run during the women's singles competition on Feb. 10.Jae C. Hong / Today

This Russian luger's face is just downright intimidating. Moving on.

Russia's Alexander Denisyev trains for the doubles event on Feb. 11.LEON NEAL / Today

This is when I would be thinking: Should have signed up for curling.

Czech Republic's Lukas Broz prepares for the doubles event on Feb. 11.LEON NEAL / Today

With that lip ring, she can handle anything.

Canada's Alex Gough adjusts her helmet at the start of a run at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor on Feb. 10.MURAD SEZER / Today

Game time. It's not the prettiest moment, but Wolfgang's still got more guts than I do.

Wolfgang Kindl of Austria during the men's singles run on Feb. 8.LIONEL BONAVENTURE / Today

Phew! Thumbs up for finishing — and being an awesome athlete!!

Kate Hansen of the United States smiles in the finish area during the women's singles competition on Feb. 11.Natacha Pisarenko / Today

Samantha Okazaki is a multimedia editor for TODAY.com.