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AthleteI go 90 MPH and Pull 5 G-Forces while wearing a full body spandex suit. Hi, my name is Chris Mazdzer and I am a 2x Olympian in Luge and local sledding hill champion. AMA!

Sep 13th 2017 by Chris_Mazdzer • 13 Questions • 580 Points

Hey everyone I am sorry that I didn't get to answer all of your questions but I need to get back to training and building my sled for the upcoming year. I leave Wednesday for Germany and will be on ice in less than 2 weeks!!! If you want to follow my story and abnormal life follow me on Instagram @mazdzer and @mazdzer for everything else. It was a made up name in the early 1900's and since their are just a few of us I have the digital market on it!!! I really appreciate all of your questions and everyone joining me on this thread, Thank you so much!!!!!!

I go by Chris and my last name is pronounced “Mazder”, that second Z is to throw off telemarketers. I’m a 2x Olympian and 7x National Champion in the sport of luge for Team USA (basically ultimate sledding). I grew up in lake Placid, NY but over the past couple years I find that I Live out of my suitcase, which changes locations about every two weeks. I have been lugeing “not losing” since I was 8 years old and am currently training to be the fastest man on ice who wears a full spandex suit, and yes… its tight in all the wrong places. I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of a good time (thank god for auto correct) and enjoy pushing the limits of life. Its important to build the best you and always sleigh the day! AMA!!!

Check out all of the Winter Games AMA at u/TeamUSAOlympics

https://www.instagram.com/mazdzer/

Proof: https://i.redd.it/mec5cglcxikz.jpg

Q:

If you did it naked, how much time would it add?

A:

to be honest I don't think it would add that much time. There might be something flapping around causing drag... but for the most part I think skin is pretty aerodynamic. The phrase "skin to win" has to mean something!


Q:

Are those skeleton dudes insane?

A:

I have no idea who this is but the politically correct answer is yes*.

*Skeleton is an absolute rush that allows athletes to experience the the sliding sports in an expedited way compared to luge.

That being said, I will argue that luge is more insane than skeleton from the viewpoint that we go faster, we have a higher center of gravity, our crashes are more intense and our sleds are built completely different and it takes us YEARS to reach the top of tracks where Skeleton can be done in WEEKS...

But thats just my opinion from doing this sport for 21 years :P


Q:

How did you get into lugeing? Seems like a sport that isn't easy to get started in, considering you need a giant course available to even try it out.

A:

I was lucky as I grew up next to one of the only two Olympic style luge tracks in the country. I am pretty sure everyone else on my team started by being discovered at one of our organizations (United States Luge Association) slider searches. This is where we replace our metal steels with wheels and have kids do street luge. Based off of natural talent, coachability (spelling) and strength we select kids to travel to Lake Placid for a screening camp where they will then be placed onto the development team. We target kids between the ages of 9-14 because luge takes about a decade to develop the skills necessary to compete at the higher levels.


Q:

Have you ever broken a street lamp with a firework?

A:

Maybe... next question!


Q:

How long did it take you to get comfortable wearing a full body spandex suit in public?

A:

Not going to lie it was a little weird at first, but now I can wear it talking in front of 15,000 people so its all about being confident with yourself. You can rock pretty much anything with the right attitude ;)

So about 3 years


Q:

How do most people react when you tell them what you do?

A:

Haha It all depends on how I like to frame it. I could either say I lay down for a living or I am a professional sledder. That typically gets a different reaction than telling them I am a 2x Olympian in the sport of luge ;) When this happens on one of my nearly 70 flight segments a year it usually ends with us talking for the majority of the flight regarding how strange and different my life is.


Q:

What other sport/activity are you also good at that people don't know?

A:

I love to push myself physically and enjoy pretty much all sports and all outdoor activities except for running... I would say that some of the activities I am better at would be cliff jumping (I feel absolutely free going upside down in the air), skiing (but only after the season is over) riding my motorcycle (only slightly above the speed limit ;))


Q:

Since lugers...lugeists...people who luge mainly use their arms and back for launching, how often do you skip leg day?

A:

The problem is I have friends (and trainers, but mostly friends) who won't let me skip leg day :(


Q:

what upcoming advances in suit tech do you think will be controversial -- are there theoretical speed limits luge experts think can't be broken?

A:

I dont really think that the time will be with the suit but rather the sled, although the suit is really important! As far as speed limits I truly believe that in Whistler we could reach 100 MPH but we are not allowed to go from the top anymore. Maybe red bull could do an invitational, pay for the insurance and let us see if we can do it??? Anyone from RedBull out there???


Q:

what upcoming advances in suit tech do you think will be controversial -- are there theoretical speed limits luge experts think can't be broken?

A:

I really appreciate all of your questions and everyone joining me on this thread, Thank you so much!!!!!!


Q:

Have you ever done pairs luge? If so, how does the guy on the bottom steer without being able to see?

A:

Yes! I did doubles luge until I was 20 years old and yes the bottom guy steers without being able to directly see in front of him. Even in singles I am trying not to look directly where I am going and rather rely on my peripherals and the pressures that I am experiencing in the curves. (Thats why it takes a decade to get good at luge)


Q:

hey Chris, thanks for doing this

my question is around the financial aspect of being a world class athlete at a sport such as ludgeing (not as popular and not circulating as much money as the "big" sports).

how does the us olimpic comitee compensate you and other athletes and what is your plan after you retire from the sport?

A:

This is an amazing question and I could write an essay on this... In the Olympic Sports worlds we are compensated based solely off of performance. it's a catch 22 because we need support in order to perform to the best of our ability. I was lucky in the sense that the United States Luge Association was able to offer me almost complete support in terms of traveling. But as an athlete in the smaller sports we do not have the endorsements that other sports can have and need to work in the offseason most the time to have a comfortable life.

I am actually going into financial planning because of my passion around this topic, hence why I could write an essay about this.

Amazing question!


Q:

How does it feel to know you'll never be as cool as the skeleton guys?

A:

Im assuming you're a skeleton athlete because anyone else would know thats not true