West finishes 26th in Olympic luge; teammate wins silver

Chris Mazdzer Slides Into History As First US Man To Medal In Singles Luge

American Chris Mazdzer had the performance of his life to vault from fourth to second in Runs 3 and 4 to win a shocking silver medal - the first medal in men's singles in USA history.

"For the Olympics, you just have to go for it", Mazdzer said Saturday after his first two trial runs. In both 2010 and 2014, the 29-year-old placed 13th in the singles luge.

Mazdzer slipped to seventh in the fourth run but was still able to stay in second place overall and win the silver medal behind Austrian David Gleirscher, who overtook Loch and Mazdzer on the final run. Gleirscher was faster, but Mazdzer finished in that coveted medal position.

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". Germany's Johannes Ludwig took bronze, finishing 0.204 behind the American silver medalist.




German Felix Loch, who has won three consecutive gold medals, was in first in the last run but hit the wall and ended up fifth.

"Hi everyone this is U.S. luge racer Chris Mazdzer ok bye", Buzzfeed reporter David Muck brought Mazbdzer's good looks to the internet's attention on Saturday.

He was headed for a third straight gold medal entering his fourth and final run in the men's singles luge after scores that ranked him second, first, and second (respectively) on his first three runs.

On Sunday, he'll try to win a historic medal for Team U.S.A using the same technique that has proven effective for him so far. Finland beat one of the Olympic favorites, Canada, at last year's world championships and led 1-0 after the first period but the USA scored twice in the second period and outshot Finland 23-5 en route to the win.

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