Chris Mazdzer wins Olympic silver

Nikita Kopyrenko of Kazakhstan carries his sled away from the finish area after the first round of the men's luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018

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.

This was the 36-year-old's sixth and final Olympic campaign, in which he did three runs of the 1.344 kilometre-long Alpensia Sliding Centre's luge track in two minutes and 28.188 seconds.

But there was joy for the unheralded Gleirscher, 23, who took gold ahead of the American Chris Mazdzer.

"It's 16 years in the making (and) what you dream about as a young child and 20 years later you're finally on the podium", the 29-year-old said.

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"I can't believe it, it's just a magic moment", said Gleirscher.

In his third Winter Games, he finished 13th in 2010 and 2014, Mazdzer broke through with the performance he had been searching for on the world's biggest stage.

Loch was still grinning in the leaders' booth as his rivals took their turns but he was noticeably surprised when Mazdzer bettered his time with a scintillating 47.534-second run to leap into second.

"I like being the underdog", he told USA Today earlier.

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Then, when he needed it most, Mazdzer delivered in his fourth run.

Mazdzer, who describes himself as a goofball who knows how to flip the switch to serious when he needs, beamed after crossing the finish line.

Tucker West of Ridgefield, who was competing in his second Olympic Games in luge, finished a disappointing 26 in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang Sunday.

The best the US had ever done in the Olympic event was fourth-place finishes by Tony Benshoof in 2006 and Adam Heidt in 2002. He won a singles medal in luge, taking the silver.

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