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Local Olympian Steven Holcomb

by Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

He may be a world champion bobsledder and two-time Olympian, but Parkite Steven Holcomb still has to take out the trash when he comes home, his dad, Steve Holcomb, said.

When asked if Steven does chores when he visits his dad in Peoa, Steve said "You bet he does." He added proudly: "He’s an Eagle Scout. And if you want to play him in foosball, he’ll play you and the best person you can find. And you better play with two balls because one ball is too boring for him. And he’ll still beat you. He’s really fast. He has really quick reflexes."

Steve said he’s always been proud of his son, even before he ever thought he’d be watching him in the Olympics. As a young child, Steven was always a daredevil, his dad said.

"He had 36 stitches in his head at one time from all the crashes," Steve said. "He got pushed into a corner of the wall and he jumped off a picnic table and got hit in the eye. Family Services was coming to our house wondering if we were beating the kid. He had a broken wrist once; then he jumped off the mailbox and broke it again."

Steven was always into winter sports, his dad said. He attended the Winter Sports School and was on the Park City Ski Team. He had a waiver to run track and play soccer at Park City High School. At 18, he saw an advertisement in The Park Record for a meeting about the bobsled team to be held at the Wasatch Brew Pub.

"They kicked me out because it was at a bar," Steven said. "But I left my contact info. They sent me a flyer saying they were going to have tryouts."

Steven passed the initial tryouts in Utah with flying colors and then again in Lake Placid for the second round of tryouts. Suddenly, he was on the U.S. Bobsled Team.

"I was a pretty established ski racer in Park City and had no interest in changing sports at that time," he said. "But I was on the regional ski team and the national bobsled team. I thought, ‘Maybe I should stick with this and see where it goes."

Since then, Steven was named as an alternate in the 2002 Olympics and finished sixth in the four-man and 14th in the two-man at the 2006 Olympics. He won his first World Cup in the four-man in 2009.

Steve said he once went bobsledding with his son and realized how scary the sport actually is.

"It’s a 50-second car wreck and most car accidents last three seconds," he said. "It’s the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life. I played college football, jumped out of airplanes. I was thinking (before the run), ‘I’m pretty fast. I’m still bad.’ All I had to do was hold onto those handles on the back and jump in."

"We’re standing on the two by four getting ready to go," Steve said. "He puts his arm around my shoulders and said ‘Whatever you do, don’t pull back on the handles,’ and then said, ‘Are you ready, dad?’ All this responsibility 15 seconds before we go."

"I pushed as hard as I could and he starts pushing, almost jerked the sled out of my hands," he added. "All of a sudden, I’m holding on because I’m really just holding on and I’m flailing behind. So I jump in the sled first. I consider myself a tough guy and I’ve got references around town. But when you’re going down that track, you’re shaking. You feel like you’re in a McDonalds hamburger box. My, God, I’m glad that thing didn’t come apart when we were going down the hill."

Steven agreed that the first time on the sled is a scary experience for anyone. Even he was worried the first time he took a ride at the age of 18.

"It felt like things were going out of control," Steven said of his first ride. "You don’t realize how fast you’re going until you get inside one of those. It was actually terrifying. When you get to the bottom and make it in one piece, you realize how much fun it was and can’t wait to do it again."


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