Chris Mazdzer wins Olympic silver

Posted February 12, 2018

Germany has long dominated the sport of luge, not only earning the most total medals across all events but also winning the most medals in each individual category: women's singles, men's singles, doubles, and relay, which was introduced in the last winter Olympics in Sochi.

American luge racer Chris Mazdzer is competing for the gold during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and he's stealing quite a few hearts in the process.

Chris Mazdzer during one of his two runs Saturday at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Mazdzer finished both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games in 13th place.

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. But it was only with his second and third runs - which he finished second and first, respectively - that Mazdzer climbed the leader board. After his final run, he ran into the stands immediately to hug his family. 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. Johannes Ludwig of Germany won bronze.

Mazdzer fought valiantly to finish second, but he didn't have enough time in him to catch Gleirscher, who pulled off a stunning win.

Born in Pittsfield, Mass., Mazdzer grew up in Saranac Lake, N.Y., a 15-minute drive from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.

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.