Chris Mazdzer wins USA's first-ever male singles luge medal

Danny Woods
February 12, 2018

Johannes Ludwig of Germany won the bronze medal.

Mazdzer, for his part, went from finishing 13th in back-to-back Olympics, to making history by becoming the first American to win a medal in men's singles luge, helped by a track-record time of 47.534 seconds on his third run.

Mazdzer, a 29-year-old native of Lake Placid, N.Y., was a surprise contender after the first two runs of competition, held here Saturday, entering the final rounds in fourth, one-tenth of a second out of third.

"You can either give up or you can keep pushing on", Mazdzer said.

A small mistake on his last run allowed Gleirscher into the gold medal position but Mazdzer's medal was guaranteed, triggering wild celebrations from an entourage of friends and family at the finish-line terrace.

Halfway through the four-round event, Mazdzer was in fourth place, with a total time of 1:35.517 - just one one-thousandth of a second behind Roman Repilov, Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, but it would have been enough to keep him off the medal stand.

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Loch set the tone with the first run of the day with a course record (that record was broken by Mazder moments later).

On the fourth and final run, Loch did what he had never done before in the Olympic Games - he had a disastrous run. Download the Team USA app today. He shot out of the starting gate and barreled down the course, sliding flawlessly down the hill. In the end, it left Gleirscher and Mazdzer shocked, but thrilled.

Mazdzer's US teammates didn't fare quite as well. Now that an American has earned a medal in men's singles luge too, team spokesman Sandy Caligiore said Sunday they've got their sights set even higher.

All told, it was an historic day for the USA luge team.

Chris Mazdzer slides during the men's singles luge at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 10, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Two seasons of frustration had brought the Saranac Lake, New York resident to the brink of an abyss which he felt he would plunge into with a poor result at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

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