Salt Lake City luger ready to race in his fourth Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY — For silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, competing in his fourth Olympic Games has come with some big challenges – and not just COVID-related issues.
Mazdzer brought home a silver medal in Pyeongchang but getting to Beijing has been a long road.
“It was a real fight,” Mazdzer told KSL TV via Zoom from China. “Things did not go well for me, I broke my foot on the second training run.”
That injury set him back.
“I was trying to qualify for the team and I was two months behind other people, so it was a real struggle.”
Mazdzer and his wife, Mara, live in Murray with their almost 1-year-old, Nico. Being away from family is not easy, and for those that compete in luge, they are on the road a lot.
“I think a lot of people when they watch the Olympics, they’re like, oh this happens once every four years,” said Mazdzer. “But I don’t think they realize the sacrifice that it takes.”
Since September, Mazdzer has only spent a handful of days at home.
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“It’s just a very different experience than many other years,” he told KSL TV. And for his young family, the time away is hard on them too. Mazdzer and his wife have been married a little over a year now. But, she knew he was a good guy after she first met him.
“Even from the beginning, when we started dating, he was the most adult, emotionally available man I could have found,” said Mara Mazdzer.
And, the last few years have been a ride most couples never experience, from competing in 2018 and winning a silver medal to competing on Dancing with The Stars. But, as every Olympic-level athlete will tell you, those times in the limelight are small compared to the months and years of intense training with no fanfare. That’s been even more intense as covid took its grip on the country.
“A lot of it self-induced isolation because we can not test positive for COVID and go the Games,” Chris Mazdzer said.
Even with the sacrifices, Mazdzer said he still loves the sport, and while this might be his last time competing in the Olympics, he hopes he can have one final World Cup round in front of friends and family cheering him on from the sidelines — and not from thousands of miles away.
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