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Steve Holcomb
Steven Holcomb at 2010 Winter Olympics 2010-02-27.JPG
Holcomb at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Full name Steven Holcomb
Nickname(s) Steve
Nationality United States
Residence Colorado Springs, CO
Date of birth April 14, 1980 (1980-04-14) (age 29)
Place of birth Park City, Utah
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Website Team Holcomb
Sport
Country  United States
Sport Bobsleigh
Achievements and titles
World finals 2009 FIBT World Champion 4-Man
Olympic finals 2006 - 6th place,
2010 - Gold Medal

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

Contents

Career

Prior to joining bobsleigh, Holcomb was involved in alpine skiing for eight years. Subsequently, he served as a forerunner, a tester of the bobsled course prior to competition, at the Utah Olympic Park for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Though Holcomb was not a competing member at the 2002 Winter Olympics, the experience did allow him time on an Olympic course in front of partisan fans.

After leaving the military with an honorable discharge in June 2006, Holcomb progressed into the top three American sleds, allowing him to compete on the World Cup circuit. Starting with the 2004-05 season, Holcomb consistently was driving the sled and was the second and third ranked American driver. In the 2007-2007 season Holcomb (with push athletes Jovanovic and Kreitzburg) won the overall 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 both his daily life and competitive skills. A non-invasive surgical procedure, CR3, provided a measure of correction during the 2007-08 season, allowing him to capture three gold, three silver, and one bronze medals.

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. Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler told Holcomb he had another choice; a quick painless procedure 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 major impact on the cornea," NBC’s Dr. Bruce Hensel said. 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.

With the procedure behind him, Holcomb and his two & four man teams took home 2 Golds, 3 Silvers and 2 Bronze and did something remarkable, won the first World Championship in four man bobsled since 1959. Additionally, he piloted his two man sled to a Bronze medal.

Looking ahead to Vancouver, Holcomb finished 2nd in his four man sled in the only World Cup race at the newly finished Whistler track. In the leadup to Vancouver, 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 Olson & Curt Tomasevicz have 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.

Why this early season success is key for the future is the starting placement at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games is based upon points earned on the FIBT circuit today. All of this is part of the building process it takes to give the team the best opportunity to succeed in Vancouver.

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,[6] won the 2007 combined World Cup title,[7] and finished second in the 2007 Four-man World Cup standings.[8] He became the first American man to win the Two-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 27, 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.

Military service

Holcomb served in the Utah Army National Guard for seven years[9], from March 1999 until July 2006. During his Army service, he worked as a Soldier and moved up to being a Combat Engineer in the 1457th Engineering Battalion. He took part in the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) for 7 years. At the end of 2006, he received an Honorable Discharge from service. While in the Army, he won the following Medals: Army Achievement Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Army Presidential Unit Citation; Army Superior Unit Award; Army Service Ribbon.

Education

Holcomb attended The Winter Sports School in Park City, graduating in 1997. Holcomb is working on his bachelors degree at the University of Phoenix in Computer Science. His projected graduation date is 2011.

References

External links

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