He Was Fast, But Not Fast Enough
Three seconds is all it takes to distinguish the winners from the rest of the pack in the mens doubles Olympic luge race on Wednesday.
Huntington Station native Matt Mortensen and his partner, Preston Griffall, came in 14th out of 19 teams in the Olympic luge race Feb. 12 in Sochi, Russia, completing their two runs down the frozen track in 1:41.703.
Mortensen and Griffall missed the first place time by 2.770 seconds. The duo, both sergeants in the U.S. Army trained by the World Class Athlete Program, defeated luge teams from Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Korea and Austria.
Mortensen posted on his Facebook fan page shortly after the race.
“Disappointing night. Wish we could have put two runs together, unfortunately things panned out how they did. This is still a great experience, and I appreciate all of your support through this entire process! Go USA!” he wrote.
On their journey down the Olympic course, Mortensen and Griffall maxed out at a speed of 131.6 mph, according to official results.
Another U.S. team in the same race earned 11th place with a time of 1:40.945. The winning team, from Germany, earned the gold with a time of 1:38.933 seconds.
Mortensen said in a Long Islander News interview last week that making it to the Olympics is a dream he’s chased for half his life and was honored to have the opportunity to represent the Army and his country in the international event.
The sergeant, a member of the 1156th Engineer Company based in Kingston, N.Y., said that while he moved to a home in Lake Placid, he plans to return to Huntington Station for the annual Hibernian’s St. Patrick’s Parade next month.