Saranac Lake's Chris Mazdzer wins first ever men's luge singles medal
Saranac Lake's Chris Mazdzer wins first ever men's luge singles medal
Chris Mazdzer celebrates his silver medal win during final heats of the men's luge competition. AP
12 February, 2018, 01:31
Chris Mazdzer celebrates winning the silver medal in the luge men's singles at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChnang 2018 on February 11, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Austrian David Gleirscher only just made it onto the Austrian Olympic team, and had never won a medal at a World Cup event before, his best-ever finish never higher than fourth.
It's Mazdzer's third Olympics, but he didn't come close to medaling before.
Ridgefield native Tucker West finished 26th overall in the luge men's singles event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
That left only the final run, and Mazdzer did exactly what he needed to do to snare the historic medal for the United States.
In his third Winter Games, he finished 13th in 2010 and 2014, Mazdzer broke through with the performance he had been searching for on the world's biggest stage.
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.
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NPR's Melissa Block reports he leaped from his sled after that final run, vaulting "into the stands to hug his family and grab an American flag".
Chris Mazdzer in action during the men's singles luge at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 10, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Johannes Ludwig of Germany was the bronze medalist.
Men's luge finals air Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and in primetime on NBC.
The best the USA had ever done in the Olympic event was fourth-place finishes by Tony Benshoof in 2006 and Adam Heidt in 2002.
But, Germany's Felix Loch who looked like he was on his way to his third consecutive Olympic gold, faltered on the final run and finished 5th. She helped the USA win silver medals in 2010 and 2014.
Canadian athletes came close , but failed to reach the podium on the first day medals were handed out in South Korea. Gerard's second run earned just a 57.11, but his finals status was all but confirmed after the first run.
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