David Gleirscher, Chris Mazdzer lead surprising upset over favorite Felix Loch

David Gleirscher, Chris Mazdzer lead surprising upset over favorite Felix Loch

David Gleirscher, Chris Mazdzer lead surprising upset over favorite Felix Loch

Chris Mazdzer's luge career was on a slippery slope only weeks before he put together a brilliant run to deliver the United States a long-awaited individual Olympic medal in the men's event on Sunday.

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 USA history. Instead of winning his third gold medal in a row in men's singles luge, and matching fellow German Georg Hackl as the only man to win three straight golds, Loch faltered on the final run of the night, falling to fifth place as Austria's David Gleirscher pulled off a thrilling upset over one of luge's all-time greats.

The 29-year-old wrote of trying to find "a light somewhere in this dark cave" in a long post on Facebook, admitting he was close to despair.

Two seasons of frustration had brought the Saranac Lake, New York resident to the brink of an abyss which he felt he would plunge into with a poor result at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

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Loch - the two-time defending Olympic champion - is the leader at the midway point of the men's luge competition at the Pyeongchang Games, finishing his first two runs Saturday night in 1 minute, 35.299 seconds.

"And I didn't know what to attribute that to". "But I felt in control and yeah, it was wonderful". "Happy for the team and Mazdzer. It will take me several days to be able to realize it".

Germany's Felix Loch couldn't do it again.

Mazdzer took advantage of Russian Roman Repilov faltering in Run 3 to move into second place, and maintained the momentum in the last run.

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"It wasn't my year, but that's the best thing about the Olympics", Mazdzer said. "It was so motivating".

Loch's loss translated into big gains for Mazdzer and Gleirscher, who beat out the American by just over two hundredths of a second to become the first Austrian to win the event in five decades.

"It's 16 years in the making", Mazdzer, a three-time Olympian, told NBC afterward. For the Olympics, you've just got to go for it. "I don't really know what's going on".

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