The U.S. luge doubles team of Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman earned their place on this year’s world cup team when they finished last season ranked third overall in the final rankings.
That was the first step toward Olympic nomination. On Friday, it became official when the duo was named to the 2018 Olympic team along with Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk.
The teams were competing with U.S. teammates Jake Hyrns and Anthony Espinoza for two spots at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The results became official on Friday, when Krewson and Sherk placed sixth at the world cup event in Lake Placid, New York, tying their highest world cup finish. Mortenson and Terdiman placed fifth.
Both Mortensen and Terdiman will be making their second trip to the Olympics, although they competed with different partners at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. Terdiman finished 11th with teammate Christian Niccum, while Mortensen was 14th with Preston Griffall.
Mortensen, who is from Huntington Station, New York, began teaming with Terdiman, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in 2014-15. They finished fifth overall in their second world cup season together before moving up to third last season for the best finish by a U.S. doubles team in 14 years.
The duo has been off to a strong start this season, finishing fifth at the world cup in Winterberg, Germany, at the end of November to secure their A-tier qualification for nomination to the Olympic team. They’re currently ranked seventh in the world cup overall standings.
Krewson and Sherk, ranked 18th in the world cup standings, beat out Hyrns and Espinoza for the second team spot. Krewson and Sherk have five top-20 finishes this season, including an 11th-place finish in Calgary last weekend and a 13th-place finish in Igls, Austria. Both will be making their Olympic debuts.
Doubles luge has been an Olympic event since 1964. Germany and Austria have traditionally dominated the discipline, but Americans won both the Olympic silver and bronze medals in 1998 and 2002.
The luge season continues with the FIL World Cup this weekend in Lake Placid, with men’s singles races on Friday, followed by women’s and sprint races on Saturday.