Erin Hamlin did it four years ago when she won bronze in women's singles luge.
But there was joy for the unheralded Gleirscher, 23, who took gold ahead of the American Chris Mazdzer.
Chris Mazdzer made history for the United States on Sunday night, becoming the first man ever to win a medal in a luge singles competition. You can see the full results here.
"It's 16 years in the making (and) what you dream about as a young child and 20 years later you're finally on the podium", the 29-year-old said. In fifth place after Run 1, he had the second fastest run of all competitors on Run 2 to jump into fourth place - and he was only 0.001 second behind Roman Repilov, an Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation.
With a final time of 3:10.728, Mazdzer won silver thanks to a strong closing run over the last two rounds.
Mazdzer then unleashed a third-round run of 47.534, the finest time of the entire competition to date, that vaulted him into second place, just behind Felix Loch's 2:22.259. He conquered the infamous ninth curve easily to put himself into flawless position for a medal. It would take some luck and some incredible times on the final two runs to move West into contention for a medal.
"I like being the underdog", he told USA Today earlier.
Mazdzer, who describes himself as a goofball who knows how to flip the switch to serious when he needs, beamed after crossing the finish line.
Fellow American Taylor Morris finished in 18th place and Tucker West did not make it to the final run.
German Felix Loch has dominated the men's downhill luge at the Winter Olympics, and had won the Olympic gold on both of his previous attempts. Now that an American has earned a medal in men's singles luge too, team spokesman Sandy Caligiore said Sunday they've got their sights set even higher.