Chris Mazdzer: From Pittsfield to PyeongChang for historic silver medal in men's luge
Chris Mazdzer lived just the first few years of his life in the Berkshires, but an historic silver medal finish in the 2018 Winter Olympics has awoken his hometown to its connection with him.
The first U.S. male to win a medal in the Olympic luge singles competition, Mazdzer later celebrated with an embrace from his dad and mom, Edward Mazdzer and Marty Lawthers, at the U.S. House at PyeongChang's Olympic Village.
That moment was photographed by Hans Morris, one of The Berkshire Eagle's owners, who is in PyeongChang.
Afterward, Edward Mazdzer, a neurologist practicing in Saranac Lake, N.Y., explained the family's connection to the Berkshires and how his son took to luge.
Chris Mazdzer makes his home in Saranac Lake now, but he was born on June 28, 1998, in Pittsfield, according his Team USA biography page.
Edward Mazdzer attended Williams College in Williamstown and went on to attend medical school. Later, he opened a neurology practice in Pittsfield, and was a staff member at Berkshire Medical Center before moving to New York.
"We lived in Lanesborough until Chris was about 4," Edward Mazdzer said.
The family then moved to Lake Placid, N.Y., so Edward Mazdzer could start his practice.
"Chris got interested in the luge when he was about 8," his father said. "He was in a kids program where they could try the Olympic runs at Lake Placid, and there was a long line for the bobsled, but no line for the luge. So after one run on the luge, he was hooked."
The 2018 Winter Games is Chris Mazdzer's third Olympics competition. In Vancouver and Sochi, his highest finishes were both 13th.
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