American within striking distance of luge medal

Supporters of luger Chris Mazdzer of the United States wait for the first run to start at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018

In a shocking development, two-time defending champion Felix Loch of Germany made a crucial mistake on his final run and ended up fifth after leading through three rounds.

Gleirscher is just the second Austrian to win the men's luge at the Olympics, after Manfred Schmid at Grenoble 1968.

A clean run for Loch nearly guaranteed a medal, and yet, amazingly, he made a slight but hugely significant error that saw him slump to fifth in the overall standings.

Also on that podium were Austria's David Gleirscher, who won gold in a shocker of his own, and bronze medalist Johannes Ludwig of Germany. Taylor Morris is in 23rd, just five spots behind fellow American West.

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.

Chris Mazdzer of United States starts his first men's luge run at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018

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

Loch, who also won gold with the German relay team in Sochi, still stands a chance of becoming the first luger to win four Olympic gold medals as a member of the relay team in Pyeongchang.

"It's 16 years in the making", Mazdzer told NBC's Lewis Johnson after winning silver.

Mazdzer finished 13th in two previous Winter Games, so this was quite a step up. But it was only with his second and third runs - which he finished second and first, respectively - that Mazdzer climbed the leader board.

The celebrations continued even after he was leapfrogged by Gleirscher in the final run. Today in PyeongChang, he was going for a third straight gold medal, and would become only the second man in history to do so. "We like bronze, we like silver".

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