(L-R) Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman pose for photos for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
With the retirement of Olympian Matt Mortensen in June, two-time Olympian Jayson Terdiman needed a new doubles luge teammate. With racers on both other senior national teams retiring, USA Luge was in need of someone to step up to form a team, or else go without a doubles entry for the upcoming world cup season.
How about Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer?
No, Mazdzer is not abandoning men’s singles, the event in which he won the first medal ever for Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. He will be pulling “double” duty, joining his former teammate Terdiman for the 2018-19 world cup season. Mazdzer and Terdiman previously competed successfully together at the junior level, winning the 2007 and 2008 national championships.
“There are no guidelines for this,” Mazdzer said in a USA Luge release. “It’s kind of unprecedented. I don’t think there’s been a top man who’s done singles successfully in two or three decades. It’s going to come down to managing time between doubles and singles. I feel solid in singles. Every track in the world feels like a home track so I have that going for me, so I can really put my time more into doubles.”
The new team took their first practice runs together on Monday, with their first competition slated to be the national championships next weekend. The first world cup stop of the season takes place in Igls, Austria, in November.
Mazdzer has never raced in doubles at a world cup. He is an accomplished world cup competitor in singles, becoming the second American man to finish as high as third in the overall standings in 2015-16. Terdiman is a four-time world cup doubles medalist, and competed in the discipline at the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games.