Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Sacrifice: Terdiman lets US Olympic doubles luge team sled

Jason Terdiman did not make it to the Beijing Olympics.

His sled did it.

A week earlier, Terdeman’s hopes of making his third and final U.S. Olympic team in doubles luge were dashed in an instant; An accident during a World Cup qualifying race in Sigulda, Latvia ended any chance of making the Beijing Games. The spot he sought to wound up was won by Jack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander, who are now heading to the Olympics for the first time.

And simply put, the sledge Terdiman has is faster than the equipment being used by DiGregorio and Hollander. So, he made them an offer they could not refuse.

“Just because my journey is over, doesn’t mean the show is going to stop,” Terdiman said Thursday. “I want to give my team the best chances of succeeding. And I know that the sled I have is the fastest equipment in the United States. It has proven itself over and over again.”

He will have a chance to prove himself again in Beijing next month.

For the next few days, four people — DiGregorio, Hollander, Terdiman and USA Luge coach Robert Feig — will share a condo in Park City, Utah. Food is being distributed, outsiders are being avoided over COVID-19 concerns, days will be spent on the 2002 Olympic sliding track for training and nights will be spent with the terdeman who can teach rookies about sledges and Squeeze every bit how at speed they can with their new toy.

Talking about not making the Olympic team still brings tears to Terdiman’s eyes, especially since the qualifying run in Latvia could have been his last competitive slide; He plans to retire with USA Luge and transition to a new role.

But when he was asked to go to Park City and help out this week, he didn’t hesitate.

“That’s what he does,” Feig said. “He’s still grieving, no doubt. It would be crazy to think he’d be on her, of course. But at the same time, he puts it aside and is there for those two boys… It’s priceless.”

Chris Mazzer, left, and Jason Terdeman of the United States celebrate after participating in the men’s double luge World Cup event on Saturday, December 15, 2018 in Lake Placid, NY USA Luge two-time doubles Olympian Jason Terdiman on Wednesday announced on December 21, 2021, that this season would be his last.

  • Zachary Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander of the United States after their second run in the Luge World Cup men's doubles race in Sigulda, Latvia, Saturday, January 8, 2022.

The first thing that had to be done was to make some physical changes to the sled itself, accommodating differences in height and body types. But Terdiman already had some idea of ​​how it would work; He had Hollander mounted on a sled this past fall, just to see how fit would be.

“We’ll have the best chance by moving on to Jason’s sledge,” Hollander said.

DiGregorio and Hollander apparently had some success on the sled they were using; Eventually, he made the Olympic team. But he also never felt that he fully understood it and met his specific needs, so he quickly decided to accept Terdiman’s offer.

“It really shows what kind of person and teammate he is,” DiGregorio said. “He put the team first, 100%. … He’s done so much more than I could imagine and I’m so grateful for that. He’s shown his true colors. It’s very, very impressive.”

Terdiman isn’t the only Olympic hopeful these days to put aside the gloom for a bigger good. Female slider Brittany Arndt, who was one of four women in the mix for three places on the Olympic team — and who didn’t qualify — is also doing training runs at the Park City track with Hollander and DiGregorio this week. , playing her part to help them get ready. As an added bonus, she probably knows the Park City track as well as anyone.

“He’s one of the best sliders here in Park City,” DiGregorio said. “There aren’t many people who will be able to beat him, so that would be a good indicator.”

The way Terdiman sees it, he’s doing what a teammate should be doing.

USA Luge, he insists, is a family one. And there are other selfless examples from which he has benefited in recent years, such as the decision by Justin Crueson and Andrew Scherck to give up their doubles spot in the team relay at the 2017 World Championships to Terdiman and his former teammate Matt Mortensen. , A similar move happened this season when Dana Kellogg and Duncan Seger gave up their places to Mazzer and Terdiman in a team relay at the Beijing track.

Terdiman ended up getting a medal in each of those races. He hopes his sacrifice – and his sledge – can help Americans win Olympic medals now.

“It’s not about the person. It’s about what Team USA is best for,” Terdiman said. “This decision, for me, was not difficult to make because of the culture that we have built within the team. It is something I am proud to be a part of. I think it’s going to be very special and I hope it pays off for these guys three weeks from now. ,

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More Associated Press Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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