Winter Olympics results: Men’s luge
American luger Chris Mazdzer was on a mission to end a 54-year-old drought.
And, he made history early Sunday, winning silver in the men’s luge.
Mazdzer set a course record in the third run with a time of 47.534 seconds, putting him into second place behind Germany’s Felix Loch going into the 4th and final run.
Mazdzer had a little trouble in run 4, but held it together and it looked like he would end up with a bronze medal.
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.
That opened the door for David Gleirscher of Austria who edged Mazdzer by .26 seconds for the gold. Germany’s Johannes Ludwig took the bronze.
No American had medaled in men’s singles luge since the event’s introduction to the Olympics in 1964, but Mazdzer sat in fourth place after Saturday’s two runs at the PyeongChang Games.
The 29-year-old from Saranac Lake, New York, headed into Sunday’s final two runs just one thousandth of a second out of third and two tenths of a second off the leader, two-time gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany.
Mazdzer is a three-time Olympian, having finished 13th in both 2010 and 2014.
He has struggled since a career-high ranking of No. 3 on the World Cup circuit for the 2015-16 season. He hasn’t made a podium since and his best finish during the most recent World Cup season was sixth.
Fellow American Taylor Morris finished in 18th place and Tucker West did not make it to the final run.
The best the U.S. had ever done in the Olympic event was fourth-place finishes by Tony Benshoof in 2006 and Adam Heidt in 2002.
Erin Hamlin is the only U.S. luge athlete of any gender to medal in singles competition at the Olympics, having won bronze in 2014.
The only other U.S. medals in the sport came with back-to-back silver and bronze finishes in doubles in 1998 and 2002.