Chris Mazdzer's smile alone was reason enough to watch the luge competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 29-year-old competed in his third Olympics and took home the silver medal in men's singles. But enough about luge - we can't wait to see him dance his butt off on this season of Dancing With the Stars! The season, which starts April 30, is chock-full of athletes, and Chris will be two-stepping with pro partner Witney Carson. If you're like us and absolutely can't wait to see what kind of moves he's got, tide yourself over with these fun facts about him, and be sure to tune into the show when it kicks off later this month.
Chris says he learned to luge at the age of 8 and was lucky enough to grow up next to one of the only two Olympic-style luge tracks in the country near Saranac Lake, NY. "Essentially luge was like ultimate sledding where the hill was never ending and really fast. I loved the feeling that I got and the focus that it required of me and this fun activity turned into a passion," Chris told the United States Olympic Committee.
Chris called himself "a connoisseur of a good time" recently during his Reddit AMA, saying: "I enjoy pushing the limits of life. It's important to build the best you and always sleigh the day." What a pun.
If you've watched luging, you know it can be dangerous. Chris said he goes up to 90 miles per hour in the luge. While he crashed a lot when he first started practicing the sport and admits it was at times scary, he says with time, he has overcome that fear. "It's a mental sport and overcoming that fear and little voice inside of you, who is really nervous, is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life," Chris said on Reddit.
Chris says if he had to choose a family member he loved most, it might be his family dog, Obi. "I don't want to say that I have a favorite family member but when he is not swimming or chasing leaves he is pretty high on the list."
Chris likes to share his thoughts on Instagram, and while he has great advice to persevere, he also shows his funny personality. One of our favorite posts on his Instagram reads: "Don't be the reason someone feels insecure, be the reason someone feels seen, heard and supported by the whole universe."
Chris is on the road a lot and says he doesn't tend to stay in one place longer than two weeks. In the past years, he started collecting hotel room cards, and he says over the last five or six years, he has amassed almost 200.
Chris has told fans that once he does retire from luging, he would like to pursue a career in financial planning, something he has become passionate about because of his life as a professional athlete. We do suspect he will miss wearing his tight uniform (and by that we mean we'll miss seeing him in his tight uniform), something he has called a "hidden talent."