American Luger Chris Mazdzer Makes History With Silver as Leslie Jones Gushes About Him on Twitter

Less than a month ago, luger Chris Mazdzer took to Facebook to share his mounting frustration over a persistent rut he had fallen into — and from which it seemed he may never escape.

“What kills me on the inside is not the fact I made a few small mistakes,” he wrote, “what kills me and has been driving me wild for over a year now is the fact that no matter what I do my top speed and ability to be with the top guys in the world has disappeared, and I don’t know why.”

That was on Jan. 21. Then on Sunday — exactly three weeks later and in his third Olympic appearance — Mazdzer won a silver medal in men’s singles luge at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, the first American to ever make the podium in that event.

“It’s 16 years in the making,” he told reporters after his victory, which he traces back to watching the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

“What you dream about as a young child and 20 years later you’re finally on the podium — I don’t know how to describe it,” he said. “All I know is that I have my friends and family here celebrating with me and this is validation for everything I’ve done. All the sacrifices, it’s worth it.”

The U.S. now stands at four total medals, thanks to Mazdzer, 29, as well as gold-medalists and snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard and the bronze-medaling figure skating team.

On Instagram, alongside a celebratory photo of himself, Mazdzer called it a “hell of a ride” as he thanked his teammates, coaches and his family.

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

“I think this gives luge in the United States a huge boost,” he said at a news conference after finishing the competition, referring more broadly to a sport in which America has been historically weak. “We have a strong team coming up. I can see some good things in the future for USA luge.”

Under the rules of Olympic luge — in which competitors slide feet-first and face-up on a sled down a track, navigating at high speeds around curves with the subtlest physical motions — the top three finishers are selected based on their cumulative time over four runs.

In below-freezing Pyeongchang, the weather worked to Mazdzer’s advantage.

“The really cold conditions here, with luge that’s the great equalizer,” he said, according to the Denver Post.

“When the ice is that hard, when it’s basically marble, that’s when it comes down to experience,” he said. “I really was out of control all four runs, but I held on … I look back at all those below-zero mornings , where I did not want to train at 8 in the morning, and that was a big part of it.”

Speaking to PEOPLE last fall, Mazdzer explained how luge, separate from other sliding sports, hinged on experience. And coming into these Games, he had more than two decades on the track.

“I’m going to be the best that I can possibly be and I hope it’s a medal,” he said then. “I don’t want to say the word ‘hope,’ I actually think it’s a terrible word to say. I’m very confident in my ability, I’ve put all the time in, and I’m going to execute.”

During his competition, Mazdzer was reportedly joined by his girlfriend and his sisters, who stripped down to their patriotically colored sports bras and leggings.

Fans were also seen waving giant cut-outs of his (notably handsome) face — a mug that did not go unnoticed by Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones, providing color commentary on social media while watching on TV.

As the Post‘s Kiszla wrote on Sunday night: “Mazdzer went from just another face in the crowd to a sex symbol at 80 mph.”

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“Damn he is fine. Mmm, Chris, please God, Chris, oh God I’m so scared for you Chris,” Jones said in one video she posted on Twitter. (Don’t worry, Mazdzer knows about his celebrity fan.)

In another post as she watched him race, Jones said, “Yes, baby. Create history, Chris. On that little skateboard with — Lord have mercy Jesus, that’s got to be the most dangerous thing in the world.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

Chelsea fans fume on Twitter as Michy Batshuayi scores again, rival fans take laugh at us

Michy Batshuayi13Chelsea fans unhappy with decision to loan out Michy Batshuayi. Batshuayi has scored three goals in two games for Borussia Dortmund. WATCH: Michy Batshuayi scores again for Dortmund. Chelsea fans are not happy after Michy Batshuayi scored his third goal in two appearances for Michy Batshuayi. Batshuayi has played a bit-part role since his arrival […]

Amanda Bynes Returns to Twitter to Document Dinner with Friends in First Post in Nearly a Year

She’s back!

For the first time in nearly a year, Amanda Bynes returned to Twitter on Saturday to share a sweet snap of herself enjoying dinner with two friends.

“Dinner with friends at Girasol,” the 31-year-old former Nickelodeon star wrote alongside the photo of herself and her friends smiling together at their table.

The last time Bynes used the social media platform was in April of last year, when she ended a two-month social media hiatus by posting a photo of her and an unidentified friend posing next to a large arrangement of pink and white flowers.

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Even though the 31-year-old has largely kept herself out of the public eye recently, in December of last year her lawyer told Page Six that Bynes was finishing up fashion school and hoping to ease her way back into Hollywood — provided she finds the right role, of course.

“Amanda is looking forward to ringing in the new year with her close friends this year,” her lawyer revealed. “In 2018, she looks forward to completing fashion school and dipping her toe back into acting. She has had several offers but is waiting for the right one to come along for a comeback.”

RELATED VIDEO: Amanda Bynes Says She Will Return to Acting

After grappling with personal mental health issues and a string of brushes with the law — including two hit and run charges in 2012 and two DUI arrests — Bynes mostly retreated from the spotlight. But the former child actress expressed her desire to return to acting back in June of last year during her first interview in four years.

“I want to do TV, maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I’m a fan of and maybe another TV show that I’m the star of it,” she told Hollyscoop’s Diana Madison.

Bynes’ last acting credit was in 2010’s Easy A with Emma Stone. She was previously the star of sitcom What I Like About You from 2002-2006, and The Amanda Show from 1999-2002.

The former actress regained control of her finances in 2017 after her mom Lynn petitioned the court to hand them back to her. Her mom had been acting as the conservator over both her personal and financial affairs.

“The court felt, based on Amanda’s progress and her great relationship with her parents, there was no longer a need for court supervision of Amanda’s money and she and her family can handle her financial affairs privately,” her lawyer Nyree Kolanjian told PEOPLE at the time. “This was a first step in the right direction. Amanda’s doing fantastic.”

Equity Shot: Twitter and Snap’s surprising, synchronized social success

 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
Today we’re doing another Equity Shot, a short topic-centered episode where we assemble the troops to dive into one particular thing. Or, in this case, two particular things.
Matthew Lynley, myself, and Katie Roof gathered to pick over Snap and… Read More

Five Ways to Improve Your Twitter Presence – Right Now

Twitter takes a bit more work than Facebook or LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from this incredibly useful platform. Instead of giving up, here are five ways to improve your Twitter presence:

#1 Complete Profile

First, make sure your profile is complete with an accurate profile picture

#2 Follow the Right People

Next, make sure you’re following quality people. What does quality mean? Well, that’s up to you! People that you find interesting. Life’s too short to follow people that piss you off. Start by following people that you know in real life. But see the previous sentence. Then follow people who do what you do, not only in your town, but in other cities, states, and countries around the world. You’ll gain a new perspective in learning how other people deal with the same issues that you have. They are also great fodder for finding educational material to share with your audience. Who knows you might even find a mentor or a friend.

#3 Get Talking

I know people who won’t use Twitter because they are afraid that they won’t know what to say and they will run out of content. Really? Like any good recipe and any good social content strategy, the secret is variety. I usually recommend that Twitter content should be 50% replies or just talking to people, 30% retweets – either with, or without commentary, and 20% unique content.

That’s it 20% – that’s all you have to come up with on your own. The rest of it, you’re either playing off someone else or just simply sharing what other people have already said. The beauty of this is even just sharing other people’s content, makes you seem more and more like an industry expert.

When you talk to people and when you retweet, it will help you build your audience, because more people will follow you. It will also give notifications to those people that you had mentioned or retweeted. If you’re trying to do business with a particular company or trying to get connected with someone who is hard to connect with by traditional means, this is a great way to get noticed!

# 4 Check Your Notifications

To avid Twitter users, this is kind of a no-brainer, however, you’d be surprised by the number of people who’ve asked me to help them with Twitter, whose notifications have been neglected. You get a notification when someone mentions you or retweets you. If someone mentioned you, you should reply back to them. It’s a conversation. One way conversations are no fun. If people are talking to you and you’re not replying, you’re missing opportunities.

Say thank you for a retweet. It notifies you when you get a retweet it’s very simple to just click their name hit tweet, it even puts their handle in for you, and just say “thanks for the retweet.” Admittedly I don’t get to every single one, but it’s a great habit to get into.

#5 Get Notified

You can set up your notifications on Twitter in unique ways to suit your individual needs. I personally find it most beneficial to be notified when someone mentions me. But when I first started out I had it set up to notify me of both mentions and retweets. Another way I like to use notifications is for select individuals whose tweets you don’t want to miss. Some ways you can use this feature is get notified when your boss or your company tweets so that you can either reply or retweet.

This strategy makes you look good with the boss and wins you brownie points with the marketing team. You can also use this technique to target the attention of people that you’re trying to reach, for example, potential new sales leads that you’ve been working on. If they see your name repeatedly on their notifications, they’ll be more likely to open your email or connect with you on LinkedIn because they recognize your name.

#6 Build a Habit

Ok, so I promised five, and this is number 6. But if you want to get the full benefit from your other actions you need to build a habit. As with anything new, when you’re trying to make Twitter part of your marketing efforts, you just have to make a habit of getting on Twitter regularly and checking out what’s going on. In order to help develop this habit, I recommend that you pick a time that you normally check something else and add it to that task. If you come into the office and check your email first thing, check your Twitter too. It also helps to have the Twitter app on your phone, and start training yourself to look at Twitter when you’re on hold, in line, or in any situation where you are waiting.

I love Twitter. It’s truly my love language. If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy the blog/podcast “Twitter Love” on More Than a Few Words.

Happy tweeting! Don’t forget to follow me at @DanaMNelson and @Roundpeg.

Social Media Starter Kit