Heading into an Olympic year, every sport begins to get more intense, with more weight placed on each event. And with less than 365 days remaining until the world converges on Pyeongchang, South Korea, the world of luge is heating up, and the United States is in the center of the fire. The team of Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer, Jayson Terdiman, Matt Mortensen, Tucker West, and Summer Britcher is taking the luging circuit by storm, competing at levels never seen before in U.S. history. Hamlin (Remsen, NY) leads the group, especially after taking home a silver medal at worlds last month. Britcher finished fourth overall, while also taking home the U23 gold. The two women’s performances show that not only is America prepared to perform in 2018, but even in the years ahead. Hamlin is currently ranked fourth in the world, while Britcher is nipping at her heels in fifth, making both early medal contenders in the next Olympics. While West (Danbury, CT) and Mazdzer didn’t fare as well at the world championships, there is still plenty of reason for optimism in the 21-year old slider. West has been tearing it up in World Cup races throughout the season, including taking home gold in several races. Mazdzer has performed well this year also, earning himself a third place on the standings, while West rests in seventh. No American man has ever medaled in a singles event at the Olympics in luge, putting even more pressure on Mazdzer and West. The duo of Jayson Terdiman (East Stroudsburg, PA) and Matt Mortensen (Huntington Station, NY) have been impressive as well, earning two medals on their own this season, while also earning many more in the team relay. Their performances have earned them the fifth ranking in the world, putting them well within reasonable medal contention. Americans haven’t medaled in doubles luge since 2002. With worlds and a South Korea test event wrapped up, the team is largely looking forward towards 2018, with the Olympics on their mind. Each member of the squad remarked on the difficulty of the track, with “the wall will come out to bite you, instead of you coming to bite the wall,” Britcher said about a specific turn. “The track is very challenging, but the Americans have been doing very well,” Mortensen said. The entire team also mentioned several times about how many different nations came to watch each other to see how they would approach the new track. There will definitely be a lot more eyes watching the United States team, which could rival the performance of perennial king, Germany in the coming year. In a Team USA stocked with storylines and talent, it’s the luge team that could have more depth and a bigger medal haul than anyone else. Looking ahead towards Pyeongchang, it looks like that could be the case. Post Views: 1,164The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest PostsDaniel PopoloskiDan is a Staff Writer here at DoubleGSports.com with a focus on Team USA and the Rio OlympicsLatest posts by Daniel Popoloski (see all) Team USA Proves it Can Win without Phelps, Lochte - July 30, 2017 Sydney McLaughlin becomes first Repeat Gatorade Athlete of Year - July 18, 2017 Local Swimmers Looking to Thrive at World Championships - July 18, 2017 Sydney McLaughlin Dominates New Jersey Meet of Champions - June 14, 2017 Related Topics2018 OlympicsChris MazdzerErin HamlinJayson TerdimanLugeMatt MortensenPyeongchang OlympicsSummer BritcherTeam USATucker WestUSA Luge Click to comment You must be logged in to post a comment Login Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.More in Olympics / Team USA Lochte, Dressel and Ledecky all Chasing Gold at 2021 Tokyo OlympicsThe 2021 Summer Olympic games are scheduled to take place from July 23 –... You Know I’m Right, Episode 94: Olympic Gold Medalist Lilly King (Audio/Video)On the 94th episode of You Know I’m Right, Nick Durst was joined by olympic... The Tokyo 2021 Olympics Will Feature New Amazing SportsSurfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, baseball and softball will compete at the Summer Olympics. You Know I’m Right, Episode 82: NBC’s Mary Carillo (Audio/Video)On the 82nd episode of You Know I’m Right, Nick Durst and Joe Calabrese are joined by... U.S. Women’s Curling Championship: Roth Loses to Sinclair but Doesn’t Walk Away Empty Handed Does America Have a Future in Alpine Skiing?