Days before death, Holcomb had Park City on his mind
Olympian was planning on wearing the town’s logo on helmet
Park City native and Olympic medalist bobsled athlete Steven Holcomb had a couple of busy months ahead of him.
This week, he was scheduled to travel to Indianapolis. Three weeks later, he was going to return to the city with his father for the Indy 500, thanks to a new sponsorship deal agent Brant Feldman, more accurately described as his friend, was finalizing. And in June, he was scheduled to start training again with other athletes at East Tennessee State, where he trained last season.
Holcomb was even working on a film documenting his life and had already began shooting in Los Angeles at the end of April and in Lake Placid a few weeks prior. But his life was shockingly cut short when he passed away in his sleep on Saturday at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, due to pulmonary congestion, reports say.
“He wasn’t a client,” Feldman said in an interview with the Park Record. “He was a friend that I will miss like there’s no other. He’s not with us anymore, and it sucks. It’s going to be a hard one to wake up from at some point.”
Feldman spent eight days with Holcomb before he died, adding the athlete appeared healthy and happy. Feldman recalled Holcomb was in Los Angeles for an NBC media photo shoot, accompanied by the many fellow Olympians that he befriended throughout the years. The event was a precursor for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“When you’ve been around for more than one [Winter Games], you get to know some of the kids in the other sports,” Feldman said. “[Holcomb] wanted to know more about them, because you’re all in the [Olympic Village] and you’re all on the same team, but you all do something unique. He was very well-liked by many people outside of bobsled and skeleton.”
At the shoot, Holcomb, as usual, had Park City on his mind. No matter how big he got in the bobsledding world, the Parkite never lost sight of where he came from, Feldman said. So much so that instead of having the typical Under Armour logo on the front of his racing helmet, he had the city’s logo stamped across his headgear during the shoot.
“Steven had said, ‘Hey, I want to do more with Park City in the future,’” Feldman said. “This was going to be a surprise.”
Though Holcomb won’t have the opportunity to live up to his desire to become more involved, his impact in Park City can’t be understated, Feldman said. The Park City native, born and raised, opened avenues for other American bobsledders to follow, and as Feldman said, was a popular guy while doing so.
In celebration of his illustrious career, and life, USA Bobsled and Skeleton will host a Celebration of Life for Holcomb in the Lussi Ballroom at the Olympic Conference Center in Lake Placid on Thursday, the organization announced.
“Obviously, this is a sad story, but this is also a celebration of him,” Feldman said.
Feldman said there will be a memorial service for Holcomb in Park City, where Holcomb grew up and attended the Winter Sports School. Holcomb’s father, also named Steve, still lives in nearby Peoa. The details of the service have not been released, but Feldman estimates it won’t be until June for logistical reasons.
Please see “Park City Remembers Holcomb” for further reading.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.