ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – The United States ended the 2020 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) luge races Monday with a seventh-place finish in the team relay. The foursome of McKenna Mazlo, Matt Greiner, and the doubles team of Maya Chan/Reannyn Weiler completed the long St. Moritz course in a time of 2 minutes, 59.179 seconds.
Russia captured the gold medal by 0.55 of a second over Germany, with Latvia another 0.33 of a second behind but good enough for the bronze medal.
“I’m very proud of the way our young athletes conducted themselves on and off the ice in their biggest competition to date,” said Jim Leahy, USA Luge CEO. “Coach Jon Owen had them well prepared and focused, and all seven of them gave us their best efforts. They absorbed everything about the YOG and interacted well with other athletes. The atmosphere of the YOG is tremendously different than Youth and Junior World Cups. No doubt this will serve them well when their time comes for the Winter Olympics. I also want to point out the enthusiasm of the families who attended. They were supportive and really got into the spirit of the event.”
Mazlo, of Souderton, Pa., was 15th in the earlier singles race, while Greiner, of Park City, Utah, took ninth in men’s singles. Chan, of Chicago, and Weiler, of Whitesboro, N.Y., had the top U.S. result of the YOG when they finished fourth in women’s doubles. Teammates Hunter Harris, of East Fairfield, Vt., was 15th in singles, and the men’s doubles team of Sam Day, of Wantagh, N.Y. and Sam Eckert of Wilmington, N.Y. finished eighth. In addition, Eckert had the notable distinction of being invited to a special dinner by IOC President Thomas Bach.
Chan and Weiler were part of the historic IOC debut of this new women’s doubles category.
“With the success of women’s doubles in its first major introduction, we hope the IOC sees this new discipline as a great pathway to the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Cortina,” continued Leahy.
Ironically, the International Luge Federation has not included women’s doubles in its own Junior World Championships in two weeks.
The 2020 YOG, which ends Wednesday (Jan. 22), has welcomed 1,800 athletes to Lausanne and St. Moritz, using the tony resort’s naturally-built sliding track for luge, bobsled and skeleton.
USA LUGE SIDETRACKS
Junior and Youth A World Cups resume Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 in Winterberg, Germany. Junior World Championships are set for Oberhof, Germany Feb. 21-22.
Some USA Luge juniors, who will age out of the younger ranks this season, are about to taste World Cup racing for the first time. The doubles team of Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger will race in Sigulda this weekend, followed by Oberhof and Koenigssee. Chevonne Forgan and Zack DiGregorio will get opportunities in Oberhof and Koenigssee, while Sean Hollander will start in Koenigssee.
The Viessmann World Cup tour now moves to the Baltic region with events Jan. 25-26 in Sigulda. Men’s and women’s singles will be contested, along with doubles and the final sprint cup of the season. For those watching the OlympicChannel.com live stream and FIL live ticker, please note the seven-hour time change to the eastern U.S.
While the team’s new training ramps in Lake Placid have been used for several weeks, it’s time now for the administrative staff to return home. Since April, USA Luge has used the local beach house in an arrangement with the village of Lake Placid. The beach house, however, will be vacated by Jan. 31, with all team operations to be found in its new digs no later than Feb. 1 at 57 Church St. Visitors will note that the updated facility is noticeably bigger than its previous iteration.