Steven Holcomb golden once more
February 28, 2012
It can be summed up in one simple phrase: The man breaks down barriers.
Following a historic first-place finish at last weekend’s two-man bobsled World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., Park City’s Steven Holcomb has done it again.
On Sunday, the bobsled driver penned his name in the record books once more as he and his team of Justin Olsen, Steve Langton and Curt Tomasevicz won the four-man bobsled World Championship gold.
After also being part of the first-place team event Feb. 19, Holcomb became the first U.S. driver in the history of the sport to sweep every bobsled event in one World Championship. In all, the U.S. claimed five medals in Lake Placid — four of them gold — to mark the most successful World Championships for the program.
"It still hasn’t fully hit me," Holcomb said in an interview Monday afternoon. "You spend your entire life trying to get somewhere, and when you get there, you don’t know what to do. When is the dream over?"
USA-1 held a very slight lead of 0.01 seconds after the first day of the two-day, four-heat World Championship race. And as in the two-man event, Holcomb said he made a mistake early the first day.
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"It had been kind of an up-and-down week in training," he said. "Some runs we were fast, some runs were slow. We didn’t know what to think. But it was nice to go into the second day in the lead."
Once Sunday rolled around, Holcomb and Co. made sure they’d be the history makers. USA-1 ended the day 0.50 seconds ahead of the second-place German team.
"We went all out in the start and had a great drive," he said. "It’s still hard to really fathom what’s happened over the last week. It’s interesting to think no American has ever done that. It’s hard to believe. A week later, it’s hard to believe no American had ever won the two-man, either."
Asked if the pressure of being the first Americans to win the two-man event had any bearing on this weekend’s four-man event, Holcomb laughed.
"Once we won the two-man, it added a lot of pressure," he said. "Now, people were saying, ‘Oh, you’re definitely going to win the four-man.’ I kept thinking, please, don’t make it harder than it already is. I kept telling people, ‘Those other teams are no joke; they’re not going to mess around."
After the victory Sunday, Holcomb said he doesn’t know when the reality of his epic accomplishments will sink in. He said his gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver still hasn’t fully settled in, and those last seven days at Lake Placid will be ones to remember forever.
"It’s hard to put into words," he said. "I’m still kind of getting over the fact we won. There’s only one other country that has done that, and that was two German pilots. It’s pretty interesting, a little icing on the cake, maybe. It’s going to take a little while to sink in."
The victory for USA-1 is significant for the entire team, not just himself, he said.
"My team is awesome," he said. "All four of us really get along well. We do a lot more, because we do get along. We all want each other to win. We all want to fight for each other. I’ve had teams in the past — not recently past, about five to seven years ago and those teams didn’t get along very well. It’s hard to win when you’re not clicking like that.
"I’m happy for those guys. They’re happy for me."
Next up for Holcomb is a trip back to Park City on March 12, where he will be testing some new equipment and taking casual runs at the Utah Olympic Park.
With three more gold medals to his name — Holcomb owns nine total — he said he has no significant plans now that sliding season is over.
No vacations upcoming?
"Nothing planned yet," he said, laughing. "You’ve got to take it one day at a time right now."