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U.S. luge head coach steps down due to Parkinson’s

Around the Games: Day 0 - 2014 Winter Olympic Games

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: A general view in the Luge during a training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Miro Zayonc has stepped down as USA Luge’s head coach, citing the continuing onset of Parkinson’s disease.

He has been in the top role since 2012, helping oversee a major turnaround for the Americans and preparations for next year’s Olympics.

USA Luge has won 29 World Cup medals in the past two seasons, along with three medals at this past season’s world championships.

Zayonc, 56, will be replaced for the coming season by Bill Tavares, who is being promoted to the interim role from his spot as an assistant.

Zayonc will remain with USA Luge as senior adviser to CEO Jim Leahy. He also will work alongside sport program director Mark Grimmette.

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