Steven Holcomb

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Steven Holcomb
Steven Holcomb at 2010 Winter Olympics 2010-02-27.JPG
Holcomb at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Full nameSteven Holcomb
Nickname(s)Holky, Holcomb, Steve
NationalityUnited States
Born(1980-04-14) April 14, 1980 (age 34)
Park City, Utah
ResidenceColorado Springs, Colorado
Lake Placid, New York
Park City, Utah
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
WebsiteTeam Holcomb
Sport
Country United States
SportBobsleigh pictogram.svgBobsleigh
TeamUS National Team
Turned pro1998
Coached byBrian Shimer
Achievements and titles
World finals2012 FIBT World Champion 4-Man
2012 FIBT World Champion 2-Man
2012 FIBT World Champion Team Event
2009 FIBT World Champion 4-Man
Olympic finals2014 – Bronze Medal 4-man 2014 – Bronze Medal 2-man 2010 – Gold Medal 4-man
2010 – 6th place 2-man
,
2006 – 6th place 4-man
2006 – 14th 2-man
 
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Steven Holcomb
Steven Holcomb at 2010 Winter Olympics 2010-02-27.JPG
Holcomb at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Full nameSteven Holcomb
Nickname(s)Holky, Holcomb, Steve
NationalityUnited States
Born(1980-04-14) April 14, 1980 (age 34)
Park City, Utah
ResidenceColorado Springs, Colorado
Lake Placid, New York
Park City, Utah
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
WebsiteTeam Holcomb
Sport
Country United States
SportBobsleigh pictogram.svgBobsleigh
TeamUS National Team
Turned pro1998
Coached byBrian Shimer
Achievements and titles
World finals2012 FIBT World Champion 4-Man
2012 FIBT World Champion 2-Man
2012 FIBT World Champion Team Event
2009 FIBT World Champion 4-Man
Olympic finals2014 – Bronze Medal 4-man 2014 – Bronze Medal 2-man 2010 – Gold Medal 4-man
2010 – 6th place 2-man
,
2006 – 6th place 4-man
2006 – 14th 2-man

Steven Holcomb (born April 14, 1980 in Park City, Utah) is an American bobsledder who has competed since 1998.[1][2] At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, he won the 4-man bobsled event for the United States, its first gold medal in that event since 1948.[3] At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, he finished sixth in the four-man event and 14th in the two-man event.[4][5]

Early career[edit]

Holcomb was an alpine skier for twelve years. At the Utah Olympic Park for the 2002 Winter Olympics he then served as a bobsled forerunner, someone who tests the bobsled course prior to competition. Though Holcomb was not competing, the experience did allow him time on an Olympic course in front of fans.

After leaving the military with an honorable discharge in June 2006, Holcomb began to compete on the World Cup circuit. Starting with the 2004–05 season, Holcomb consistently was the second and third ranked American driver. In the 2006–2007 season Holcomb (with team members Jovanovic and Kreitzburg) won the two-man World Cup Championship, while his four-man team (with Jovanovic, Kreitzburg, and Mesler) finished second. As Holcomb rose through the ranks of American bobsledders however, a degenerative eye condition, initially diagnosed in 2002, began to affect his daily life and competitive skills. A non-invasive surgical procedure, C3-R, provided a measure of correction during the 2007–08 season, allowing him to earn three gold, three silver, and one bronze medals.

Keratoconus[edit]

Yet as Holcomb found greater success on the track, he soon discovered that contact lenses and glasses could no longer adequately address his vision problems. Consequently, he often navigated the courses by feel rather than sight. Before the start of 2008–09, Holcomb was diagnosed with keratoconus, a degenerative thinning of the cornea that distorts vision. In the past the only answer would have been surgery—a corneal transplant. But Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler told Holcomb he had another choice; a quick painless crosslinking procedure called C3-R in which a vitamin solution is combined with light.

"By itself, the vitamin, riboflavin, a B vitamin, does nothing. But when activated by light of a certain wavelength, it has a majlater, according to Boxer Wachler, "We did these revolutionary contact lens implants called the VisianICL, and that's what really restored his vision so that he does not have to wear any lenses at all now." Holcomb’s entire procedure took only 20 minutes. "It's amazing to live life with 20/20 vision, it’s like life in high definition," Holcomb said.[6] In 2010, Dr. Boxer Wachler renamed the C3-R crosslinking procedure as 'Holcomb C3-R' on national TV in Holcomb's honor.[7]

Post-keratoconus career[edit]

With the procedure behind him, Holcomb and his two-man and four-man teams took home 2 golds, 3 silvers and 2 bronzes and then won the first World Championship in four-man bobsled since 1959. Additionally, he piloted his two-man sled to a bronze medal.

In Vancouver, Holcomb finished 2nd in his four-man sled in the only World Cup race at the newly finished Whistler track. Holcomb and his Night Train (4-man)/Night Hawk (2-man) are competing on the FIBT World Cup circuit. In the first three tour stops to date, his squad with teammates Steve Mesler, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz has won gold in the 4-man at Lake Placid & Cesana (Torino 2006 Olympic track) and silver in the 4-Man at Lake Placid and bronze in Cesana.

The crew of the four man USA-1 at the 2010 Winter Olympics with their gold medals. From left to right: Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler, and Curtis Tomasevicz.

Holcomb won four medals at the FIBT World Championships: a gold (four-man: 2009) and three bronzes (two-man: 2009, mixed team: 2008, 2009). He also won the 2007 Two-man World Cup title,[8] won the 2007 combined World Cup title,[9] and finished second in the 2007 Four-Man World Cup standings.[10] He became the first American man to win the Two-Man World Cup title. Holcomb also won the 2007 and 2010 Combined World Cup titles, and the 2010 4-Man World Cup title.

It was announced on 17 January 2010 that Holcomb made the US team in both the two-man and four-man events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. On February 17, Holcomb led the four-man US bobsled team to a gold-medal victory, ending a 62-year gold medal drought in US Olympic four-man bobsled competition.

Holcomb qualified for the 2014 Sochi Olympics in both the two-man and four-man bobsled. On February 16, Holcomb and brakeman Steve Langton won the bronze medal in the two-man competition, ending yet another 62-year medal drought in US Olympic two-man competition.[11]

Military service[edit]

Holcomb served as a soldier in the Utah Army National Guard for seven years,[12] from March 1999 until July 2006. During his Army National Guard service, he served as a combat engineer in the 1457th Engineering Battalion. He took part in the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) for seven years. At the end of 2006, he received an Honorable Discharge from service. While in the National Guard, he earned the following Medals: Army Achievement Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Army Presidential Unit Citation; Army Superior Unit Award; Army Service Ribbon.

Education[edit]

Holcomb attended The Winter Sports School in Park City, graduating in 1997. Holcomb is working on his bachelor's degree at DeVry University in computer science. His projected graduation date is 2016.

Scouting career[edit]

Steven attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steven Holcomb" (PDF). Men's Bobsled Biographies. U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Holcomb, Steven (USA)". Results Database. WIGE MEDIA AG. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  3. ^ "U.S. claims first four-man gold medal since 1948". Winter Olympic Games 2010 Results. 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-02-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ Krastev, Todor (2006-02-27). "Bobsleigh Fours Olympic Games 2006 Torino (ITA) – Saturday 25.02 Cesana Pariol". Winter Olympic Games 2006 Results. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  5. ^ Krastev, Todor (2006-02-20). "Bobsleigh Doubles Olympic Games 2006 Torino (ITA) – Sunday 19.02 Cesana Pariol". Winter Olympics Games 2006 Results. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  6. ^ Byrd, David (January 5, 2010). "US Bobsledder Holcomb Gains New View on Life". Voice of America. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UJPr0694gA&list=PL14E3E9271888A2F4
  8. ^ List of two-man bobsleigh World Cup champions since 1985
  9. ^ List of combined men's bobsleigh World Cup champions: 1985–2007
  10. ^ List of four-man bobsleigh World Cup champions since 1985
  11. ^ http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Bobsled-Skeleton-Federation/Features/2014/February/17/Holcomb-and-Langton-break-two-man-bobsled-Olympic-medal-drought-with-bronze-medal-finish
  12. ^ Hipps, Tim (15 January 2009). "Military bobsledders dominate 4-man National Championships". U.S. Army MWR. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  13. ^ http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/02/14/half-of-team-usas-night-train-bobsled-team-are-eagle-scouts/

External links[edit]