USA Luge has been told that Chris Mazdzer is headed to the Olympics.
The 2018 silver medalist, who originally thought a 25th-place finish in a World Cup luge race this past weekend had doomed his chances of making the Beijing Games, apparently has qualified for the Olympics for a fourth time.
USA Luge was told by the International Luge Federation on Monday morning that it was getting three starting spots for the men’s race at the Games. The FIL has not released the final quotas publicly yet, but three spots for the Americans would mean Mazdzer is going after all.
“Man, honestly, relief,” Mazdzer told The Associated Press shortly after being informed by USA Luge. “Incredibly excited. It’s a mixed bag this time around. I had no idea it was going to be this emotionally draining and stressful. It’s relief, honor and excitement.”
The Americans already knew that Tucker West and Jonny Gustafson were going to the Games; having the third slot means Mazdzer will join them.
USA Luge was nominating the team for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee approval, typically just a formality, on Monday. Summer Britcher, Emily Sweeney and Ashley Farquharson will race in women’s singles, Zack Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander will make their Olympic debuts in doubles, and they’ll be joined by the men’s trio.
Mazdzer was hoping to make it to Beijing in two disciplines, but he and Jayson Terdiman did not qualify in doubles. Terdiman plans to retire; Mazdzer is leaning toward retirement after this season, though has not made a final decision and could return for a potential farewell if there is at least one race in North America next season.
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