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By The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. — Frank Masley, a three-time Olympian and the first Olympic flagbearer in U.S. luge history, died Saturday after a fight with cancer. He was 56.

USA Luge said Saturday that Masley died at his Wilmington home.

Masley raced in 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, was voted the U.S. flagbearer in the 1984 Sarajevo Games, and also competed in Calgary in 1988. He won a record 10 national championships.

Frank Masley of Newark carries the flag as members of the U.S. Olympic team march in opening ceremony at Kosevo Stadium in Sarajevo, on Feb. 8, 1984 for the XIV winter Olympic Games. The placard marked sad is the Yugoslav designation for USA.AP

"Frank was the guy everyone liked and respected, even when he was beating you on the ice," said Ron Rossi, a former teammate who also served as USA Luge's executive director. "I had the utmost respect for him as a competitor, but more so as a person — and that was affirmed by the life he led after luge."

Masley graduated from Drexel in Philadelphia with a degree in civil engineering. He was inducted into the Delaware Hall of Fame in 1997.

"Having known Frank since the beginning of his luge career almost four decades ago, I am personally humbled and honored to have known him, and most grateful that he chose luge so he would become part of our family," said Dwight Bell, USA Luge's board president.

Masley is survived by wife Donna and three children.