Olympics - Mazdzer comes back from abyss to claim silver

Nikita Kopyrenko of Kazakhstan carries his sled away from the finish area after the first round of the men's luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018

Nikita Kopyrenko of Kazakhstan carries his sled away from the finish area after the first round of the men's luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018

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.

Halfway through the four-round event, Mazdzer was in fourth place, with a total time of 1:35.517 - just one one-thousandth of a second behind Roman Repilov, Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, but it would have been enough to keep him off the medal stand.

Gleirscher had a four-run cumulative time of 3:10.702, finishing.026 ahead of Mazdzer (3:10.728) and.230 ahead of Ludwig (3:10.932). It just took the conditions to be right. Mazdzer put together two phenomenal runs to climb from fourth to third in runs 3 and 4 to win the silver medal in men's singles luge - the first men's singles luge medal in US history.

"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. "I've just been having fun the last week". Loch went to sleep on the lead at the midway mark in 2010 and 2014, and now finds himself in position to join only Germany's Georg Hackl to win three straight Olympic men's luge titles. Whenever you lose, keep fighting.

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With a final time of 3:10.728, Mazdzer won silver thanks to a strong closing run over the last two rounds. "I'm an outsider. I like being the underdog".

It's no surprise, Mazdzer's second run was the fastest in that heat demonstrating he was capable of medaling.

The confidence that had been quietly accumulating exploded on Saturday, when Mazdzen came within a whisker of the medal positions after two solid runs in the preliminaries. The highest an American had finished in men's luge singles before today was fourth. Tucker West finished 26th and Taylor Morris finished 18th. Mazdzer had previously never finished better than 13th at the winter Olympics.

It took help from team mates, friends and rivals in the close-knit luge community for Mazdzer to unlock a winning combination that would transform his sled into a chariot of glory on the hard ice track of Pyeongchang.

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