West finishes 26th in Olympic luge; teammate wins silver
Although Ridgefield native Tucker West saw his struggles continue on the second day of the luge men's singles competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, he and the rest of the USA Luge program did have cause to celebrate.
With two fast final runs, teammate Chris Mazdzer moved from fourth place (after the opening two runs Saturday) into second place, winning the silver medal. In doing so, Mazdzer became the first American man to win a medal in men's singles, which debuted at the 1964 Winter Games.
West, who was 18th overall following the first two runs, had hoped to move up in the final standings on Sunday. But the 22-year-old Ridgefielder finished 37th in the third run with a time of 49.593 and dropped to 26th in the overall standings. Because he was not in the top 20 following the third run, West did not get to race in the fourth and final run.
As an 18-year-old, West had finished 22nd in the luge men's singles at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Competing in his third Olympics, Mazdzer, 29, followed up two impressive runs on Saturday with an even better performance on Sunday. His time of 47.534 was the fastest of the third run and left him second overall going into the final run behind reigning two-time Olympic champion Felix Loch of Germany.
Mazdzer slipped to seventh in the fourth run but was still able to stay in second place overall and win the silver medal behind Austrian David Gleirscher, who overtook Loch and Mazdzer on the final run. The bronze went to Johannes Ludwig of Germany.
Gleirscher had a four-run cumulative time of 3:10.702, finishing .026 ahead of Mazdzer (3:10.728) and .230 ahead of Ludwig (3:10.932).
Loch, who seemed a lock to win his third straight gold medal, hit a wall on his final run and fell to fifth place in the final standings.
Notes: Taylor Morris, the third American competing in men's singles, finished 18th overall with a cumulative time of 3:12.547.
West had a cumulative time of 2:26.019 for his three runs.