Winter Olympics 2018: Chris Mazdzer wins historic silver in men's singles luge

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Mazdzer slid into gold medal contention on Saturday, giving the underdog United States team a glimpse of hope while competing against beasts in the field, such as Germany and Austria.

A clean run for Loch nearly guaranteed a medal, and yet, amazingly, he made a slight but hugely significant error that saw him slump to fifth in the overall standings. "I've had a rough last two years, and it just shows: Don't ever give up".

The 28-year-old Loch was on the verge of history in Pyeongchang, where he was just seconds away from becoming the sport's first four-time gold medallist.

"It's 16 years in the making (and) what you dream about as a young child and 20 years later you're finally on the podium", the 29-year-old said.

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.


Loch was still grinning in the leaders' booth as his rivals took their turns but he was noticeably surprised when Mazdzer bettered his time with a scintillating 47.534-second run to leap into second.

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". He shot out of the starting gate and barreled down the course, sliding flawlessly down the hill.

Mazdzer, who describes himself as a goofball who knows how to flip the switch to serious when he needs, beamed after crossing the finish line.

German Felix Loch has dominated the men's downhill luge at the Winter Olympics, and had won the Olympic gold on both of his previous attempts.

Congrats to all of the medalists in the men's single luge today. And when it comes to men's singles luge, Mazdzer will always be the first.

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