Olympics: Austria's Gleirscher wins luge after favorite bombs

Doug Mendoza
February 12, 2018

Although Ridgefield native Tucker West saw his struggles continue on the second day of the luge men's singles competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, he and the rest of the USA Luge program did have cause to celebrate.

Saranac Lake's Chris Mazdzer is the first American man ever to medal in men's luge singles.

"For the Olympics, you just have to go for it", Mazdzer said Saturday after his first two trial runs. In both 2010 and 2014, he finished 13th.

Chris Mazdzer reacts following his track-record run during the luge men's singles at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChnag 2018 on February 11, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. But the 22-year-old Ridgefielder finished 37th in the third run with a time of 49.593 and dropped to 26th in the overall standings.

He was in fifth place after Run 1 and then moved up a spot to fourth place in Run 2, but it was his performances in Runs 3 and 4 that sealed the deal.

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The riders will each complete three runs, and the best score from each will determine the medals. "I saw Red landing his run. This was the best run I could put down at the right moment and now it's the judges' decision.

He was all set to create history ahead of his final run, as his medal rivals promised little. Mazdzer had previously never finished better than 13th at the winter Olympics.

Loch, who also won gold with the German relay team in Sochi, still stands a chance of becoming the first luger to win four Olympic gold medals as a member of the relay team in Pyeongchang.

It's the first time the U.S. has medaled in the event since it became an Olympic sport in 1964. Johannes Ludwig of Germany won bronze. She helped the US win silver medals in 2010 and 2014.

Loch had won gold in the last two Olympics in men's singles.

Fans of Chris Mazdzer, including his girlfriend Mara Marian (C), react following his third run during the luge men's singles at the Olympic WInter Games PyeongChnag 2018 on February 11, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Other reports by GizPress

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