Skip to navigationSkip to content
Pyeongchang Olympics Luge Men
AP Photo/Andy Wong
Ice in his veins.
SILVER BULLET

Watch the US capture its first ever Olympic medal in men’s luge

By Adam Epstein

There aren’t many Olympic events that the United States hasn’t medaled in. Today, there’s one fewer.

American Chris Mazdzer earned a silver medal in men’s singles luge today (Feb. 11) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, finishing just .026 seconds behind the winner, David Gleirscher of Austria. It’s the first time the US has medaled in the event since it became an Olympic sport in 1964.

Mazdzer, a 29-year-old from Massachusetts in his third Olympic games, essentially clinched the medal stand yesterday with a terrific third run. The 47.534 seconds run set a course record and was the best single run in the entire competition. All he needed to do in his fourth and final run today was not falter—and he didn’t.

Single’s luge consists of four timed runs on a sled down a narrow, serpentine track. Whoever makes the fastest time when all four runs are combined is the winner. Mazdzer had previously never finished better than 13th at the winter Olympics.

Erin Hamlin became the first American to medal in women’s luge when she took home the bronze at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. The US has medaled in doubles luge four times; the last came in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

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.