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Muskegon Olympic Luge Athlete Mark Grimmette Falls Short

Muskegon native Mark Grimmette and his teammate Brian Martin placed 13th in the men's double luge on Wednesday at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

That's way short of Grimmette's past accomplishments, which include bronze and silver Olympic medals and six world championship medals.

"We brushed up on the wall, and that messed up our timing," Grimmette said.

In Wednesday's runs, Grimmette and Martin were just 1.3 seconds behind the gold medal winners from Austrian, brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger. The Lingers won the gold in the last Winter Olympics.

The pair had been working on a critical part of the event, the start.

"On that start, everything has to be precise in the timing," Grimmette said. "Otherwise, you're not going to get the start curve."

Grimmette had been chosen as flag bearer for the U.S. Olympic team at the opening ceremonies, but that proved to be his high point in Vancouver.

This was Grimmette's fifth trip to the Olympics. Grimmette and Martin took bronze in the men's doubles in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and silver in Salt Lake City in 2002. Grimmette and Martin, though, failed to medal in Turin after crashing on their first run.

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