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

Chris Mazdzer's family out in full force to support him to luge silver medal

The small but lively crowd turned what should have been a predictable event into an everyone-roots-for-everyone affair.

Noticeably absent from the medal ceremony: Felix Loch, the German powerhouse who won gold at the past two Winter Games.

Congrats to all of the medalists in the men's single luge today. After skidding on the track and glancing off the wall during his fourth and final run in the men's singles luge event, he lost precious time.

In fact, everyone was shaking their heads in disbelief. "I'm an outsider. I like being the underdog".

(L-R) Chris Mazdzer, David Gleirscher and Johannes Ludwig react as they watch the final run of Felix Loch in the luge men's singles at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang on February 11, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

World champion Kindl was ninth after a disappointing night, while Pavlichenko lies almost a second off the pace in 17th, his medal hopes appearing all but shot. He's always the favorite. "No one could have predicted this".

It was a tough break for Loch in PyeongChang, but that left open the opportunity for David Gleirscher to capture gold, and American Chris Mazdzer to win silver, marking the U.S.' first men's singles medal in the luge. Loch had appeared well on his way to earning his third Olympic gold medal in a row - but a disastrous final run unraveled his bid for a three-peat, knocking him not only out of the top spot but also off the podium entirely.

The sport of luge is a small, tight-knit world, and Mazdzer was keen to credit his peers for helping him during the trial runs. Mazdzer finished both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games in 13th place.

Crimson Gerard Wins First US Medal At Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
There was a very worrying moment for fellow Swede Mans Hedberg, who crashed on the final feature. On those three jumps, Gerard landed a switch backside 1260 on an angled kicker to the side.

"The ice, it is so hard right now", said Mazdzer - whose sisters and girlfriend chose to show up in body paint on a frigid night. Mazdzer bounced the sled in exultation after his finish, knowing he'd finished a pristine run. I'm having a lot of fun out here. It's weird. This is probably the race that I was least nervous for. "But I felt in control and yeah, it was fantastic". "I didn't know I was that fast".

It was easy to see that comradery in the post-race press conference, with the three medalists smiling between questions, all giddy and loquacious, and looking ready to pinch themselves.

On the biggest stage, he delivered the race of his life.

"The last two times it was no problem", the beaming Bavarian, who holds a 0.188-second lead over Gleirscher, told reporters.

"I would say I did everything right".

"And now I can keep going".

"It's quite unbelievable. It's so incredible that this has happened". "I'm really lucky. When I kind of get mad and upset, my tendency is to work harder. It will take me several days to be able to realize it".

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