In a shocking development, two-time defending champion Felix Loch of Germany made a crucial mistake on his final run and ended up fifth after leading through three rounds. Austrian David Gleirscher only just made it onto the Austrian Olympic team, and had never won a medal at a World Cup event before, his best-ever finish never higher than fourth.
No American had medaled in men's singles luge since the event's introduction to the Olympics in 1964, but Mazdzer sat in fourth place after Saturday's two runs at the PyeongChang Games.
Loch had appeared well on his way to earning his third Olympic gold medal in a row - but a disastrous final run unraveled his bid for a three-peat, knocking him not only out of the top spot but also off the podium entirely. The U.S. women's team has won either a gold or silver medal in the Games since women's ice hockey was introduced in 1998 and has faced Canada in four of the five gold-medal contests.
"It's 16 years in the making", Mazdzer told NBC's Lewis Johnson after winning silver.
"Hi everyone this is USA luge racer Chris Mazdzer ok bye", Buzzfeed reporter David Muck brought Mazbdzer's good looks to the internet's attention on Saturday. Whenever you lose, keep fighting.
Mazdzer finished 13th in two previous Winter Games, so this was quite a step up.
The celebrations continued even after he was leapfrogged by Gleirscher in the final run.
The medal is the United States's sixth all time in luge and second in singles. Today in PyeongChang, he was going for a third straight gold medal, and would become only the second man in history to do so.
"The men's medal and then the gold medal, and then we'll be a happy organization", Caligiore said.