It was a tough break for Loch in PyeongChang, but that left open the opportunity for David Gleirscher to capture gold, and American Chris Mazdzer to win silver, marking the U.S.' first men's singles medal in the luge.
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.
Austria's David Gleirscher struggled to make the Olympic team, but is now the men's luge gold medalist.
Loch - the two-time defending Olympic champion - is the leader at the midway point of the men's luge competition at the Pyeongchang Games, finishing his first two runs Saturday night in 1 minute, 35.299 seconds.
Mazdzer, a 29-year-old native of Lake Placid, N.Y., was a surprise contender after the first two runs of competition, held here Saturday, entering the final rounds in fourth, one-tenth of a second out of third.
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Chris Mazdzer just did what no American man has ever done.
"This feels like 18 years in the making", said the three-time Olympian from Saranac Lake. Finland beat one of the Olympic favorites, Canada, at last year's world championships and led 1-0 after the first period but the US scored twice in the second period and outshot Finland 23-5 en route to the win. Loch went to sleep on the lead at the midway mark in 2010 and 2014, and now finds himself in position to join only Germany's Georg Hackl to win three straight Olympic men's luge titles. "It's getting colder", Mazdzer said. Once ranked No. 3 in the world as recently as the 2015-16 season, Mazdzer hadn't medaled since - until the Pyeonchang Games.
"You can either give up or you can keep pushing on", Mazdzer said. "I think that really helped me have that great third run".
Canada's Sam Edney is fifth, exactly one-tenth of a second behind Mazdzer.
It's no surprise, Mazdzer's second run was the fastest in that heat demonstrating he was capable of medaling.