Mazdzer in 5th place after 1st of 4 Olympic luge runs

Mazdzer in 5th place after 1st of 4 Olympic luge runs

Mazdzer in 5th place after 1st of 4 Olympic luge runs

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.

Luge - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Singles Competition - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 11, 2018 - Chris Mazdzer of the U.S celebrates second place with victor David Gleirscher of Austria. It's a huge jump in performance for Mazdzer though, who finished 13th at the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games.

After the event Sunday, Mazdzer said his silver capped years of struggle. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) Chris Mazdzer of United States competes in the second round of the men's luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

German luge star Felix Loch was consoled by his father immediately after his ill-fated run in the men's singles luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang that left him without a medal. In second place so far is David Gleirscher of Austria, 0.188 behind Loch.

Mazdzer's USA teammates didn't fare quite as well.

"It's 16 years in the making", Mazdzer, a three-time Olympian, told NBC afterward.

Chris Mazdzer reacts following his track-record run during the luge men's singles at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChnag 2018 on February 11, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

On another night with cold, hard ice conditions, Mazdzer started the night in fourth place after two runs.

"It wasn't my year, but that's the best thing about the Olympics", Mazdzer said. He turned up the heat with a track record third run that put him in second place, but a distant 0.19 of a second from three-run leader Felix Loch of Germany, and just 0.02 in front of Austrian first run leader, David Gleirscher.

Time-wise, yes, that's close. With Redmond Gerard winning gold in the men's slopestyle, Team USA was officially on the board.

His triumph had echoes of team mate Erin Hamlin's breakthrough four years ago in Sochi, when she became America's first individual Olympic luge medallist despite achieving little in the World Cup events prior to the Games.

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