Pyeongchang 2018: Mazdzer wins first men’s singles luge medal for U.S.

Feb. 11 (UPI) — Chris Mazdzer’s silver medal Sunday in Pyeongchang was the first men’s singles medal for an American in Winter Olympic Games history.

The 29-year-old is from Saranac Lake, N.Y. He is ranked No. 18 in the world. Mazdzer finished second to Austria’s David Gleirscher.

German Johannes Ludwig won the bronze medal.

Gleirscher posted a winning time of 3:10.702. Mazdzer finished 0.026 seconds behind the leader, followed by Ludwig finishing 0.230 behind Gleirscher.

American Taylor Morris finished in 18th place, 1.845 seconds behind the leader. Tucker West finished in 26th place.

“It’s 16 years in the making,” Mazdzer told NBC after the race. “I’ve had a rough last two years, and it just shows: Don’t ever give up. Whenever you lose, keep fighting.”

“The conditions are perfect for me. It’s cold. It’s technical. People are messing up. I just went for it. I took the training wheels off. I was out of control during those four runs. I held it together and it just means everything. Especially because my family is here.”

Mazdzer said he was “at peace with himself” before the run.

Flag bearer Erin Hamlin won bronze in women’s singles luge at the 2014 Winter Games. Mazdzer’s medal was the sixth all time in the luge for Team USA. The event was introduced to the Games in 1964.

Mazdzer did it by climbing up from fourth to third place after his third and fourth runs. He clinched the silver medal after two-time defending champion Felix Loch couldn’t pull off a clean effort in his final run.

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