“Well this wasn’t the post I wanted to make in the beginning of the season,” Chris Mazdzer began on Instagram. And it wasn’t the post U.S. Olympic fans wanted to read.
Accompanied by a photo that shows Mazdzer holding crutches toward the sky and his right foot in what appears to be a boot, the luge athlete revealed on Thursday that he had broken his foot “in a few places” earlier in the week.
The 2018 Olympic silver medalist hit his foot during a training run in Sochi, Russia. The U.S. luge team is in the first few days of a two-week training camp at the 2014 Olympic track – one of four tracks around the globe the team will train on prior to beginning the World Cup season in late November.
“After investing physically, mentally and financially for this Olympic year, the game plan changed in just the matter of a few seconds,” his post included.
Mazdzer is no stranger to injury, having undergone shoulder surgeries in both 2016 and 2019.
Now 33, Mazdzer is the leader and face of the team. His medal-winning performance in PyeongChang, South Korea, nearly four years ago marked the first U.S. Olympic medal in men’s singles luge.
After the Games, he went on “Dancing with the Stars” and finished in the top six with pro partner Whitney Carson in a 10-team all-athlete season.
As he began preparing for the next – and likely final – four-year Olympic cycle of his career, Mazdzer realized he was eager for a new challenge. In addition to training for singles luge, he partnered up with two-time Olympian Jayson Terdiman in doubles.
They had previously competed together as juniors a decade earlier.
In their first season back together, Mazdzer and Terdiman earned a silver medal in a World Cup sprint race on their home track in Lake Placid, New York.
On foreign tracks, they have finished as high as fifth, while Mazdzer’s best international singles result this quad is ninth.
Mazdzer and Terdiman have also won four World Cup medals – plus bronze at the 2020 World Championships – as part of the U.S. team relay.
Despite the broken foot, the Saranac Lake, New York, native still plans to make his fourth Olympic appearance in Beijing in February — and medal.
“Neither of us has been deterred from the end goal, putting Team USA on the podium in Beijing,” Terdiman, who will return to the U.S. with Mazdzer, said in a USA Luge press release.
If all goes according to plan, Mazdzer would have the maximum three chances to medal in Beijing in men’s singles, doubles and the team relay.
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