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Ridgefield Teen Tucker West Slides To 22nd Place Finish In Olympic Luge

Tucker West of Ridgefield is the youngest U.S. Olympic luger at age 18. Photo Credit: USA Luge Association
The town of Ridgefield has rallied behind West, dubbing his fans Team Tucker and cheering on his Olympic accomplishments. Photo Credit: File

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Ridgefield native Tucker West finished 22nd overall in the men's luge at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, completing his fourth and final run Sunday afternoon. 

West, 18, finished with a total time of 3:31.217 in his four runs. He was 3.691 seconds behind first. The first two runs were completed Saturday, the final two Sunday.

The gold medal went to Felix Loch, 24, of Germany in a time of 3:27.526. Loch also won gold in 2010 in Vancouver. His medal is Germany's first medal of the 2014 games. 

Albert Demchenko, 42, of Russia, won silver, which he also won in 2006 in Torino.

Armin Zoeggeler, 40, of Italy took bronze. Zoeggeler carried the Italian flag in the game's Opening Ceremony on Friday night. 

The top American finisher in men's luge was Christopher Mazdzer, 25, in 13th place. Aidan Kelly, 19, of the USA came in 24th.

West, who is the youngest Olympic male racer in U.S. history, was disappointed in his opening heat on Saturday. He drifted toward the wall, costing him precious time in a sport measured in tenths and hundredths of seconds. 

“It (the error) is pretty easy to flush out,” West was quoted as saying on the USA Luge website. “You’ve got 17 curves ahead of you and you’re going 80 mph. You’ve got to let it go by you. Part of the sport is to have short-term memory.”

He was looking to improve his run times Sunday. “Honestly the runs were nowhere near where I wanted them to be,” he said. “But that’ll give me the determination to do even better tomorrow. I’ve got some time to make up so it’ll be fun tomorrow.”

The luge competition is being held at the Sanki Sliding Center in the Caucasus Mountains above Sochi, Russia.

Also, apparently West is single, according to an interview Sunday with his father on the "Today" show, where he tried to play matchmaker for his teenage son. Watch the interview here at the "Today" show website as he calls for girls to send his son messages via social media.

Here's an early sample of comments from Twitter:

  • From emma @emmacatharine25: #teamtucker #teamusa This cutie deserves to have the entire nation's support. His story is adorable. Go Tucker! ♥
  • From Maliyka A. Muhammad @MaliykaisHealth: Yea I would be soooo embarrassed if the parentals went on national tv and declared me very single. But that's sweet. #TeamTucker
  • From James O'Brien ‏@cyclelikesedins: Bad news for @TuckerWest1: everyone knows you're single. Good news: everyone knows you're single. #TeamTucker

Not familiar with the luge? NBC Connecticut has posted video of West's final run here

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