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US Ends 62-Year Drought in 4-Man Bobsled

  • Parke Brewer

US four-man bobsled team, captured gold medal Saturday at Vancouver Winter Games

The United States has finally ended more than half a century of frustration in the Olympic four-man bobsled, capturing the gold medal Saturday at the Vancouver Winter Games.

It seems hard to believe that it had been 62 years since the Americans had won Olympic gold in the four-man bobsled.

But this was the year many thought that futility would come to an end.

Driver Steve Holcomb, the reigning world champion, surged to the lead after the first two runs Friday, setting a Whistler Sliding Track record in the process. He gained several more hundredths of a second in the third run Saturday, so with a total lead of almost half a second, Holcomb just needed to steer a solid run on his fourth and final trip down the icy course.

'USA-1' Bobsled driver Steve Holcomb talks to the media

'USA-1' Bobsled driver Steve Holcomb talks to the media

"I just got in the sled. I was focused. I knew the lines I had to drive. I drove as best I could and came out victorious," said Holcomb.

The Holcomb, 29, said it was a thrill to end the long U.S. drought in the four-man bobsled.

"This is an amazing feeling. You kind of dream about it for years and all of a sudden it's happening. It's sort of hard to put into words. I don't know. It's just kind of overwhelming," he added.

The modest Holcomb, a stocky man who sports a beard, said he is not the one who deserves all the credit in his black USA-1 sled dubbed "Night Train." And it is not just teammates Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz.

"It's a whole team thing," he noted. "The engineers have put so much heart and soul into this. The pushers have as well. And my coaches have done everything they can to get me here and I just had to perform and execute the way that I do, and we did."

One of those coaches is Brian Shimer, himself a former U.S. four-man bobsled driver.

"I'm just elated," said Shimer. "And I can't tell you how proud I am of Holcomb and the gang and for Steve to pull it together and hold it together in just his second Olympic Games. You know, he kind of followed in my footsteps but has passed me way up. It took me five Olympics just to get a bronze, and here he is in his second with a gold."

Taking the silver medal, 0.38 seconds back, was two-time defending champion Andre Lange of Germany. On the final run, he edged out the Canadian sled driven by Lyndon Rush by a mere 0.01 of a second.

USA Winner Steve Holcomb said he is not about to retire from bobsledding after winning the Olympic gold medal. He said that he is living a dream, so why would he give it up now?

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