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Halfway through the four-round event, Mazdzer was in fourth place, with a total time of 1:35.517 - just one one-thousandth of a second behind Roman Repilov, Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, but it would have been enough to keep him off the medal stand. Erin Hamlin became the first American to win a singles medal in the women's event in 2014; the USA has four medals in doubles.

American luger Chris Mazdzer was on a mission to end a 54-year-old drought.

Austria's David Gleirscher struggled to make the Olympic team, but is now the men's luge gold medalist. But on his final run, Loch made a big mistake and finished with a time of 48.109, which placed him 18th for the run.

"It's 16 years in the making", Mazdzer told NBC's Lewis Johnson after winning silver.

Noticeably absent from the medal ceremony: Felix Loch, the German powerhouse who won gold at the past two Winter Games.

The three-time Olympian, 29, trains in Lake Placid. Whenever you lose, keep fighting.

That left only the final run, and Mazdzer did exactly what he needed to do to snare the historic medal for the United States.

Chris Mazdzer slides in a training session for the men's singles luge at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 8, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Mazdzer also broke the course record to move into second place.

Mazdzer competed in the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2010 Vancouver Games but did not win a medal. In the final run his time of 47.677, his second-best of the competition, was enough to land the silver.

"The men's medal and then the gold medal, and then we'll be a happy organization", Caligiore said. After his final run, he ran into the stands immediately to hug his family.