The 2014 Olympian and La Cañada Flintridge resident has decided to take time off from competitive sliding while she studies at Brigham Young University.
"Everyone needs to finish school," Hansen emailed on Thursday morning. "It was hard to walk away from so many amazing things, but my education is important and I need to develop not only as an athlete, but also as a student."
Hansen became the first American in more than 16 years to win a World Cup singles race last season in the circuit finale. Hansen, 21, had already secured her first-ever Olympic appearance.
"USA Luge wishes the best for Kate, though we will miss her this year," emailed Gordy Sheer, the Team USA director of marketing. "We look forward to her returning to the ice for the 2015-2016 season, fully motivated and ready to fight for World Cup, World Championship and 2018 Olympic medals."
The La Cañada High graduate placed 10th in the women’s singles luge at the Sochi Olympics and gained worldwide acclaim in large part due to her pre-luge warm-up routine of dancing.
It led to appearances on “Today,” “The Queen Latifah Show” and “The Pete Holmes Show,” among others.
Team USA’s slider search, a clinic looking for potential luge prodigies, is set for La Cañada on May 31-June 1 and Hansen was slated to appear.
The World Cup begins Nov. 29 in Igls, Austria.
Follow Grant Gordon on Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon.