Parkite claims two medals in Lake Placid
Holcomb teams up with former football star
The USA Bobsled Team followed up Matt Antoine’s silver medal performance from Friday morning’s men’s skeleton competition with three medals that afternoon at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) teamed with Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) to win the men’s two-man bobsled race by 0.27 seconds. Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) and Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) shattered the track record en route to a victory in the women’s race, followed by Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) in second place.
“I’m elated,” said Brian Shimer, USA Bobsled head coach. “It was awesome for our fans, friends and family to be here and take part in our success today. Richard Laubenstein, our crew chief, certainly has these BMW sleds dialed in and he put it all out there for the athletes. It feels great seeing the team back on the podium, and I’m looking forward to seeing what these athletes bring to the table the rest of this season.”
In the men’s race, Holcomb and McGuffie powered the Under Armour wrapped BMW sled off the start block in 5.21 seconds, and Holcomb piloted the crew to a downtime of 54.66 seconds, just 0.05 seconds from the 13-year record, to place them in the lead.
“I had no idea [about being so close to the track record],” Holcomb said. “I thought I was going to be rather slow. I never thought we’d be this close to the two-man track record. It was set in 2003 in -38 degree weather by an incredible driver. To be even close to that is great.”
Holcomb, who was victorious in last season’s Lake Placid two-man race with Carlo Valdes, drove himself to gold again today. The three-time Olympic medalist and McGuffie powered to the finish in 54.81 for a combined time of 1:49.47 to take the win by 0.27 seconds.
“Every single person out here wanted to win today,” Holcomb said. “To have a victory, to be on top, no matter where it is, it’s nice; just getting back to that mentality of winning again. It is a mentality. Putting together two runs. These cold conditions make the ice very hard and very slippery. Being the veteran on the tour, my experience paid off today.”
Holcomb capped an exciting weekend for Team USA with a silver medal performance with Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) in the recently unveiled BMW sled at the four-person bobsled World Cup race today. Team USA pocketed five medals this weekend to conclude the first half of the World Cup season.
“Holcomb has been battling injuries since the Sochi Olympics and he’s worked harder than anyone, and he’s really rekindled that drive to be the best in the world and represent the USA,” said Brian Shimer, USA Bobsled head coach. “Getting back on the podium is also a testament to these young brakeman and their hard work. They are now realizing their potential on the ice and now know they can be competitive. BMW has made us another great product and we’ll get the setup dialed in before Korea.”
Holcomb, Valdes, Reed and McGuffie powered the BMW sled off the start in 5.09 and 5.08 seconds, eighth and seventh best of the race, for runs of 54.22 and 54.48 seconds, respectively. The crew was in fourth place after the first run, but moved into the medals with a total time of 1:48.31 after a nearly flawless second heat.
The last time Holcomb was in the World Cup four-person medals was when he won the January 2014 event in Koenigssee, Germany. This year he has a new push crew combination with Valdes, Reed and McGuffie.
“It takes a lot of training off the hill to succeed on the hill and these guys are figuring that out, they’re doing well,” Holcomb said. “It’s hard to explain in bobsled; push times don’t always reflect the way things are. While we didn’t have a great start time, per say, we had great velocity into the track and caught up to them. When you have a slow push and you’re accelerating and you come down and win, it feels much better than just having a fast push.”
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