Austria’s David Gleirscher wins shocking gold in men’s singles luge


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

American Chris Mazdzer had the performance of his life to vault from fourth to second in Runs 3 and 4 to win a shocking silver medal — the first medal in men’s singles in U.S. history. Johannes Ludwig of Germany won bronze. You can see the full results here.

Gleirscher’s cumulative time over four runs (Runs 1 and 2 took place on Saturday, with Runs 3 and 4 on Sunday) was 3:10.702, as he won by 0.026 over Mazdzer. 

Loch set the tone with the first run of the day with a course record (that record was broken by Mazder moments later). He slid flawlessly, extending his lead. But everything fell apart in the final run as Loch looked a shell of his self, unable to control his line down the hill. 

Mazdzer fought valiantly to finish second, but he didn’t have enough time in him to catch Gleirscher, who pulled off a stunning win.

After the first two runs on Feb. 10, Loch led by 0.188 over Gleirscher and by 0.217 over Repilov. Mazdzer was only 0.001 behind Repilov.

Repilov faltered badly on the third run to drop out of medal contention. Mazdzer, meanwhile, broke the course record set by Loch moments earlier to move into second.

On the fourth and final run, Loch did what he had never done before in the Olympic Games — he had a disastrous run. In the end, it left Gleirscher and Mazdzer shocked, but thrilled. 

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