USA Luge's Mazdzer ending season early with neck injury
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer will miss the World Cup season finale later this month, cutting his season short because of a neck injury.
Mazdzer has been sliding through the injury for about three weeks, and will compete Saturday and Sunday in a World Cup at Oberhof, Germany. He will skip the finale in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia on Feb. 23 and 24. That means the U.S. will have only men's and women's singles sliders that weekend, with no doubles sled or team relay entry.
"I have been fighting through some injuries that simply cannot be ignored any longer and on Monday, I will be heading back to the U.S. to figure out exactly what is wrong," Mazdzer said.
Mazdzer is the only slider who has competed in singles and doubles this season. Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman were the lone U.S. doubles sled at the World Cup level this season, and they plan to stay together through the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
"We are thinking about the big picture and our eyes are set on Beijing," Terdiman said. "We are hoping that ending this season earlier will allow Chris the time to recover so we can get as much out of this summer as possible."
USA Luge has been dealing with injuries all season. Emily Sweeney, who endured back and neck fractures at the Pyeongchang Olympics last year, has skipped some racing weekends to lessen her workload. Sweeney has recovered very well, winning a World Cup bronze medal earlier this season as well as a bronze medal at last month's world championships.
Sweeney is not racing this weekend in Oberhof, but plans to race in the finale on the track used for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.