Carbon Fiber Extreme

Posts tagged “team usa

Scary Bobsled Crash Led Kristi Koplin Home Early, Just In Time To Fight COVID-19 As Urgent Care Nurse

Kristi Koplin, a pilot on the U.S. bobsled team, posted an emotional message on her Instagram account on Jan. 8, essentially telling the world she might be done with her sport.

The 33-year-old Koplin was hurt, struggling with the pain and injuries from a serious crash during her second-to-last run during a competition in Lake Placid, New York. The crash was so hard, she said, that she blacked out and woke up fearing she’d been paralyzed. Thankfully she wasn’t, but she had terrible bruises all over her body, another concussion and the growing realization that her life may not be building toward the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

So Koplin came home to Park City, Utah, to heal — physically and emotionally — and head back to work as an urgent care nurse.

She’s been alternating between bobsled and nursing for years, so the switch was normal. But soon the whole world turned upside down, as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread, and Koplin became part of a team at Intermountain Healthcare testing for the virus at a drive-up clinic in an underground level of a parking garage.

“It’s been intense, because there is so much anxiety right now,” said Koplin, who is also a captain in the Army Reserve. “I try to help the people coming in by being calm, and giving them the knowledge and comfort that we’re here for them. We can figure out what is going on, test them and try to get them the info and the help they need. 

“But yeah, it’s been go, go, go for the past couple of weeks, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon since Utah has it pretty bad where I am.”

Koplin is seeing a steady stream of sick people of all ages. The hard part is hearing their stories of fear and illness, as COVID-19 is the main theme of every conversation. She is dressed in full protective gear, making her look more like an astronaut than a caring nurse trying to test or triage — all in a parking lot, no less.

“Your heart breaks when you hear people are running low on inhalers, or they can’t find Mucinex or Tylenol in the store,” she said. “The essentials are running low everywhere and you want to help them, like the mom who can’t find Motrin to help break her daughter’s fever. I really want to help them.”

Download the Team USA app today to keep up with bobsled and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.

The COVID-19 virus weighs on Koplin’s mind too, as she lives with her two over-70 parents. She is isolating herself in the basement, trying to avoid bringing anything home from the testing station to her family.

“I understand the anxiety, I go up and down with it too,” she said. “I think my greatest fear would be to expose them — and have them come down with it. That is the scary part, you don’t know if you are carrying it with you. So that is why staying at home is so important for everybody to limit the spread. I can’t stay home, because I am part of the health care system, but I am trying to do my part at home.”

Koplin likely will not be home much longer though, as her reserve unit (Army Reserve 328 Field Hospital) is getting activated and will soon be deployed. She doesn’t know where she will be in the U.S., but she’s eager to help serve the areas in need.

Koplin now sees her early end to the bobsled season as a hidden blessing. She was having a strong season, ranked second overall in the second-tier North American Cup. She had won three gold medals and two silvers. But if she had not crashed and been injured, she would have continued the season until it ended due to the pandemic. Meaning she would have come back to nursing tired and a bit beat up from bobsled.

“I got a chance to rest. I got a chance to heal, and both those things helped me jump into this and deal with the grind,” Koplin said. “I really can see things happened the way the needed to.”

She’s back to working out, thanks to some equipment at her sister’s house, and the time and space from her crash has brought new perspective.

She doesn’t have to make any big decisions about bobsled right now.

“When that injury happened, my immediate thought was, I am done,” she said. “I went through a week of depression after that. Now, I am more like, I don’t want to be done. The Olympics are so close, it’s knocking at the door.

“I feel good, I still have so much passion about doing everything I am doing. So, I am just going to keep going, staying in shape and seeing where life takes me. I can feel it in my soul: this is what I need to be doing right now. I am helping people, and I am getting mobilized. And I am ready.”

Joanne C. Gerstner has covered two Olympic Games and writes regularly for the New York Times and other outlets about sports. She has written for TeamUSA.org since 2009 as a freelance contributor on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Team USA


Blaser and Florian in the hunt for top 20 of men’s skeleton World Championships

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 27, 2020)– Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) and Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) finished the first day of men’s skeleton World Championships in 22nd and 24th position, respectively. The developing athletes have little experience on the challenging course. Florian has competed in one World Cup race and two European Cup competitions in Altenberg before, while this is Blaser’s first time racing the German track.

“I like this track, I enjoy it,” Blaser said. “I’ve been struggling in Kreisel and the second run it got away from me. Trying to be dialed in for my first worlds is kind of a big task. Being here for my first big championship and racing the Germans on home ice and on a track with a reputation like Altenberg is going to pay off.”

Blaser pushed off with the 23rd best start time of 5.17 seconds and drove himself up a few spots into 21st with a downtime of 57.54 seconds in the first heat. Florian was just four-hundredths of a second off his teammate’s pace after clocking the 10th best start time of 5.04 seconds for a run of 57.58.

Blaser bettered his start to 5.12 in the second run and posted a time of 57.58 seconds to finish day one in 22nd with a total time of 1:55.12.

“If I can dial it in first run tomorrow, I can close the gap to the top 20,” Blaser said.

Florian was a tad slower in his second push with a 5.10, and he crossed the finish line in 57.71 seconds for a two-run total of 1:55.29. He’s in 24th position heading into tomorrow’s finale.

“I feel good about my start times, but it doesn’t mean anything if I can’t get down the hill,” Florian said. “When my push has been off, my driving has been on and vice versa. It’s unacceptable. I don’t feel as sharp as I did last season and I need to spend some time getting back mentally to where I was last year.”

Germans currently occupy the top three positions. Christopher Grotheer leads with a total time of 1:52.03, and he set a new track record in run two with a run of 55.86 seconds. Alexander Gassner is 0.09 seconds off the pace in second with a cumulative time of 1:52.12. Axel Jungk has a combined time of 1:52.38 for third spot. World Cup title winner Martins Dukurs from Latvia is currently fourth in 1:52.55, and can’t be counted out for the medals.

Racing continues tomorrow with the first two heats of the women’s skeleton competition at 9:30 a.m. local time, followed by the men’s skeleton finale at 1 p.m.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 1:52.03 (56.17, 55.86);
2. Alexander Gassner (GER) 1:52.12 (56.21, 55.91);
3. Axel Jungk (GER) 1:52.38 (56.15, 56.23);

22. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:55.12 (57.54, 57.58);
24. Austin Florian (USA) 1:55.29 (57.58, 57.71);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Qwixskinz, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.


Church and Williamson finish 19th in two-man bobsled World Championships

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 23, 2020)– Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) and Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) gained a spot to finish 19th in the two-man bobsled World Championship finale in Altenberg today. It rained throughout the night, creating wet and frosty conditions for today’s final two heats.

“It was a much different day, the ice was much slower from the rain,” Church said. “Overall I’m happy to be able to clean up some things from yesterday, and I’m feeling better heading into four-man. It’s good that I’m experiencing these challenges now, and hopefully I can continue to get better.”

Church and Williamson posted start times of 5.38 and 5.35 seconds today for runs of 57.17 and 56.57 seconds, respectively. His third run was 16th best of the heat, and his final run was 10th fastest. Church and Williamson edged closer to the field and finished 19th with a four-run combined time of 3:44.49.

“Today was a good note to end on in two-man,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “Hunter has the same championship mentality as Kaillie Humphries. He’s 23 years old and this is only his second world championship. He’s doing great.”

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich won his sixth consecutive two-man World Championship today with Thorsten Margis. The duo was dominant, and won by 1.65 seconds with a total time of 3:40.44. Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber from Germany moved into silver medal position with an aggregate time of 3:42.09. Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis from Latvia denied the Germans a sweep of the medals. The Latvians moved up from fifth to claim the bronze medal with a cumulative time of 3:42.23. Germans Nico Walther and Eric Franke dropped back into fourth.

The 2020 World Championships will continue next week with the women’s and men’s skeleton races, a mixed skeleton team event, and the four-man bobsled competition. Raced pick up again on Thursday, Feb. 27, and will conclude on Sunday, March 1.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.


Results

1. Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis (GER) 3:40.44 (54.00, 54.09, 55.98, 56.37);

2. Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber (GER) 3:42.09 (54.59, 54.59, 56.36, 56.55);

3. Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis (LAT) 3:42.23 (54.49, 54.72, 56.35, 56.67);

19. Hunter Church and Josh Williamson (USA) 3:44.49 (55.25, 55.50, 57.17, 56.57);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.


Humphries and Gibbs lead women’s bobsled World Championships after first two heats

Photo credit: IBSF

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 21, 2020)– Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) currently lead the women’s bobsled World Championships after the first day of racing in Altenberg, Germany. The Americans have a lead of 0.21 seconds, but Humphries isn’t celebrating yet.

“There are still two more runs tomorrow and a lot can happen and change,” Humphries said. “I’m going to treat tomorrow like another race. I’ll debrief with the coaches to go over what worked and what didn’t, and we’ll come back tomorrow with our best.”

Humphries and Gibbs matched Germans Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig at the start with the fastest push time of 5.63 seconds in the opening heat. Humphries guided the Omaze branded sled to the finish in 56.47 seconds to pull away from the Germans by 0.03 seconds.

Germany’s Kim Kalicki and Kira Lipperheide put pressure on the field in the second heat with a run of 56.45 seconds, which moved them ahead of Schneider and Fiebig by a large margin of 0.33 seconds. Humphries and Gibbs responded with a blistering start time of 5.62 and downtime of 56.33 seconds to pull away even further from the field. The U.S. pair has a two-run total of 1:52.80 to give them a lead of 0.21 seconds heading into tomorrow’s final heats.

“It’s great having coach Shauna Rohbock here to go over lines at the finish, because we could debrief right away after each run to make a plan for the next run,” Humphries said. “I’ve been through four heat races before, and it’s not time to get excited yet. There’s still a lot racing left.”

Rohbock is an expert driver to gain advice from, and today is the 14-year anniversary of Rohbock’s silver medal finish at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

Kalicki, who won her first career World Cup medals earlier this season in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Lipperheide and currently in second place with a total time of 1:53.01. Schneider and Fiebig are in third with an aggregate time of 1:53.34. Reigning Olympic champions Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek from Germany are also in the medal hunt in fourth position with a cumulative time of 1:53.44.

The deciding heats for the women’s bobsled competition will take place tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. local time, following the opening heats of the men’s two-man bobsled event at 11:30 a.m.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs (USA) 1:52.80 (56.47, 56.33);
2. Kim Kalicki and Kira Lipperheide (GER) 1:53.01 (56.56, 56.45);
3. Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig (GER) 1:53.34 (56.50, 56.84);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Team USA


Blaser leads USA Skeleton in fifth career World Cup

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 17, 2020)– Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) led the U.S. in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup in Igls with an 18th place finish. It was the first time Blaser has raced in Igls. Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) finished 26th and 28th, respectively.

This is Blaser’s World Cup debut season, and his first time racing the European tracks. Today was the fifth World Cup race of Blaser’s career, and the first time he’s qualified for the second heat. Blaser was the only North American to make the top 20 today.

“We knew it was going to be a development year for me,” Blaser said. “It was my first time in La Plagne (France), my first time in Winterberg (Germany), my first time here– I’m getting those first runs under my belt this season. It was overwhelming at first, but it’s exciting and things are starting to come together over time.”

The Igls track favors fast starters, which gave Blaser a boost today. He posted a first run start time of 5.01 seconds, which was 10th best of the field, and raced to the finish in 53.27 seconds for 19th place to qualify for the second heat. Only the top 20 athletes after the first heat are granted a second run.

“I was elated,” Blaser said.

He nearly matched his first run start time in heat two with a push of 5.02, and moved up a spot with a downtime of 53.05 seconds. Blaser finished 18th with a combined time of 1:46.32.

When USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour handed Blaser the phone for this interview, his first reaction was, “Did my mom get Tuffy’s number?”

“This is all new to me,” Blaser said.

Latvian Martins Dukurs was today’s winner in 1:44.50. Reigning Olympic champion Sungbin Yun of Korea was a distant 0.42 seconds behind in second place with a total time of 1:44.92. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov claimed the bronze medal in 1:44.94.

Florian and Ivanov both missed the top 20 cutoff for the second heat. Florian clocked the 22nd best start time of 5.11, and slid to the finish in 53.63 seconds for 26th. Ivanov was 28th fastest off the start with a push time of 5.17, and he maintained 28th place at the finish with a downtime of 53.74.

The women’s skeleton race is up next at 2 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the Igls races. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:44.50 (52.34, 52.16);
2. Sungbin Yun (KOR) 1:44.92 (52.66, 52.26);
3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:44.94 (52.53, 52.41);
18. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:46.32 (53.27, 53.05);
26. Austin Florian (USA) (53.63, DNS);
28. Alex Ivanov (USA) (53.74, DNS):

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter.


World Cup makes fifth stop in Igls, Austria

Photo credit: Mike Kohn

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 16, 2020)– The fifth stop of the bobsled and skeleton World Cup tour will take place in Igls, Austria starting tomorrow through the weekend. The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Friday, Jan. 17

10 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

11:45 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

2 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

3:30 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

Saturday, Jan. 18

10 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #1

11:30 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #2

2 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #1

3:30 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #2

Sunday, Jan. 19

1:30 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #1

3 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #2

Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will kick off the Igls event in the men’s skeleton race tomorrow morning, followed by Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) in tomorrow afternoon’s women’s skeleton race. This is the first time racing in Igls for Blaser, the fourth for Florian, and the sixth for Ivanov. Graybill has the most experience of any U.S. skeleton athlete on the roster in Igls. This will be her 14th competition on the Austrian track. It will be the ninth race for Henry in Igls, and the eighth for Wesenberg.

In women’s bobsled, Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) will team with Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) for the first time. The last time Humphries raced in Igls was in 2017, when she finished fourth. The two-time Olympic champion has claimed three World Cup medals in Austria over the years, and the 2016 World Championship silver medal. Humphries also won the women’s four-man bobsled exhibition race in 2016. Hoffman was a participant in season 2 of “The Next Olympic Hopeful,” and she excelled as a rookie last season.

Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) once again learned another new track this week. The 23-year-old will race with season 1 winner of “The Next Olympic Hopeful” Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) in two-man on Saturday. Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) will join Williamson as Church’s four-man push crew on Sunday.

NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Igls from Jan. 17-19. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.

Source; TeamUSA


World Cup racing resumes in Lake Placid on Friday

World Cup racing resumes in Lake Placid on Friday

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Dec. 12, 2019)– The second week of bobsled and skeleton World Cup racing begins tomorrow at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid. This weekend will feature skeleton races for the women and men, a women’s bobsled competition, and double four-man bobsled races.

The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in EST:

Friday, Dec. 13
10 a.m.: Women’s skeleton heat #1
11:30 a.m.: Women’s skeleton heat #2
2 p.m.: Men’s skeleton heat #1
3:45 p.m.: Men’s skeleton heat #2

Saturday, Dec. 14
10 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #1
11:45 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #2
2 p.m.: Women’s bobsled heat #1
3:45 p.m.: Women’s bobsled heat #2

Sunday, Dec. 15
10 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #1
11:45 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #2

Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) will represent Team USA in the women’s skeleton competition, while Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will compete in the men’s race.

Wesenberg led USA Skeleton last weekend with a sixth place finish, while Florian was the top men’s finisher in 14th. Henry, Blaser, and Ivanov made their World Cup debuts last weekend. The team is eager to medal on home ice before the tour heads to Europe.

Two American sleds are entered into the women’s bobsled race. Three-time Olympic medalist Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Olympic silver medalist Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) will once again team together. Humphries and Gibbs aim to repeat their gold medal performance from last weekend’s season opening race. Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Ark.) and Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) narrowly missed the top-six last weekend, and are hungry to podium on Saturday.

Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) put together two strong fifth place finishes in last weekend’s double two-man races, and the 23-year-old is eager to get back on ice in four-man, which he considers his specialty. Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany), and Kyle Wilcox (Tampa, Fla.) will compete with Church in both races.

Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) continues to battle back from a hamstring injury sustained during team trials. He will race with Blaine McConnell (Tacoma, Wash.), Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.), and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) in the first race, and with McConnell, Chris Kinney (Stockbridge, Ga.), and Horn in the second competition.

Geoff Gadbois (Milton, Vt.) is scheduled to race with Chris Avery (San Diego, Calif.), Kinney, and Dakota Lynch (Boise, Idaho) on Saturday, and Avery, Adams, and Lynch on Sunday.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries. Media interested in attending either weekend of racing can apply for a credential at https://www.whiteface.com/media.

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.


USA BOBSLED 2014 Olympians Silver Medalists

Nebraska native Curt Tomasevicz now has a silver medal for the 2014 Olympics — five years after the Olympic games.

Tomasevicz and the U.S. Men’s Bobsled team received their medals during a ceremony in Los Angeles Tuesday night.

The team’s bronze medals were upgraded after the Russian team was stripped of their gold medals for alleged doping.

Latvia’s team now has the gold.

“I think people felt bad we didn’t get the original experience but this time it was just celebrating our team – there was no one else on the podium. And it was great to do it on U.S. soil,” said Curt Tomasevicz.

The U.S. four-man team included Tomasevicz, Chris Fogt, Steve Langton and the late Steven Holcomb.

“Our pilot Steve Holcomb is no longer with us,” Tomasevicz said. “That’s the part that may bother me the most. Our podium moment has kind of been taken away from us. We didn’t get to celebrate together as a team and that’s just never going to happen now.”

Tomasevicz, the other two remaining members of the team, and Holcomb’s family are now using this opportunity to honor Holcomb.

“It’s really hard to explain whether it should be excitement or relief or what it is I guess, because he won’t be there to celebrate with us,” Tomasevicz said. “And I don’t know that we feel full justice has been served.”

While Tomasevicz and the team received their new medals on Tuesday night, they had to give the medals back after the ceremony. A grammatical error in the medal’s engraving must be fixed before the team receives their permanent medals.

Tomasevicz was also part of the 2010 Men’s Bobsled team that received gold in Vancouver.

He has retired from bobsledding and is an engineering professor at the University of Nebraska.

Original Source: 1011 Now


FAMILY OF STEVEN HOLCOMB RECEIVES OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALS IN HIS HONOUR

Late USA driver in two-man and four-man bobsleigh teams upgraded from bronze at Sochi 2014 after disqualification of Russian medallists

Two and a half years after his untimely death, the family of bobsleigh driver Steven Holcomb will receive two silver medals from Sochi 2014.

Holcomb piloted the USA two-man and four-man bob teams which finished third at the Games.

But they were promoted to silver in both events after Alexandr Zubkov, the driver of Russia’s original four-man and two-man gold medal sleds, was disqualified for doping offences with brakeman Alexey Voevoda also subsequently excluded.

Holcomb, who led his country to its first four-man title in 62 years at Vancouver 2010, died in his sleep at the Olympic training centre in Lake Placid in May 2017 aged 37.

Steven Langton, brakeman in the two-man and a pusher in the four-man, are also set to receive two silver medals at Tuesday’s Team USA Awards in Los Angeles with pushers Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz collecting four-man silvers.

USA’s greatest bobsledder of his generation

A native of Park City, Utah, Holcomb started out as a ski racer before switching to sliding in his late teens.

He was originally a pusher and was part of Brian Shimer’s team ahead of the 2002 Games in his hometown of Salt Lake City before a hamstring injury at the worst time saw him replaced by Dan Steele.

Holcomb then switched to driving but there was a problem – his eyesight.

After laser surgery in 2000 had failed to make a difference, he was diagnosed with the incurable degenerative eye disease keratoconus which leads to the thinning of the cornea.

Deciding not to tell anyone, Holcomb wore hard contact lenses and ahead of Turin 2006 found that his sight was getting progressively worse to the point that he thought he could go blind.

In his autobiography, ‘But Now I See: My Journey From Blindness to Olympic Gold’, Holcomb admitted he should have said something sooner but that “because the only lengthy conversations I’d had about my disease had been with myself, I always came up with the most horrific scenarios for what would happen if I confessed now”.

Having managed to pass a vision test for international competition by memorising the letters on the eye chart, he took sixth place in the four-man bob and 14th in the two-man in his first Olympic Games.

But his eyesight soon deteriorated to the point that contact lenses were not up to the task making cornea transplants in both eyes, and four years out of the bob, the only feasible course of action.

Faced with that prospect, Holcomb’s already fragile mental health worsened and he attempted suicide by taking multiple sleeping pills washed down with bourbon whiskey.

Incredibly, he survived and decided to come clean about his sight issues.

His team-mates and coaches set to work and put him in touch with Calfornia doctor Brian Boxer Wachler who fitted special implants in 2008 which improved his vision markedly without surgery.

The procedure soon became known as the Holcomb C3-R.

Holcomb was able to return to the circuit and became world champion a year later at Lake Placid before securing his greatest triumph at the Vancouver Games of 2010, piloting the ‘Night Train’ – with pushers Tomasevicz, Justin Olsen and Steve Mesler – to gold.

Popular with his team-mates and bobsleigh crowds for his outgoing manner, and his ‘Holcy Shuffle’ dance, Holcomb built on his Olympic title with three golds at the 2012 Lake Placid World Championships – two-man, four-man and mixed team.

USA retained that mixed team title a year later before Holcomb headed to Sochi for his third Games.

Bronze medals in both the four-man and two-man saw Holcomb join Pat Martin as his nation’s most decorated Olympic bobsledder.

The next couple of seasons were not quite as successful, although Holcomb was ranked second in the 2016-17 two-man World Cup standings thanks in part to a victory over Canada’s subsequent PyeongChang 2018 two-man gold medallist Justin Kripps at Lake Placid.

He was still on course to pilot a Team USA sled at PyeongChang but in May 2017 his best friend, world champion skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender, broke into his room at the training centre in Lake Placid having not heard from him for two days and discovered his body.

Holcomb was later found to have alcohol and prescription sleeping tablets in his system having appeared to have passed away in his sleep.

His 60 World Cup, 10 World Championship and three Olympic medals made him one of the most decorated drivers in the sport’s history.

Medal reallocation from Sochi 2014

Six months after Holcomb’s death, Zubkov was stripped of his medals from Sochi 2014 for doping offences.

And in March this year, following the application of the Olympic Medal Reallocation Principles, the teams below Russia were promoted with Holcomb’s two-man and four-man teams upgraded to silver.

Langton, Tomasevicz and Fogt released a statement at the time saying, “It’s unfortunate that our results were not official in February of 2014 and that we’ve had to endure the long process to see justice finally served.

“We are happy that we now can celebrate and be proud of the silver medal accomplishments.”

Latvia’s four-man team, piloted by Oskars Melbardis, were upgraded to the nation’s first ever Winter Olympic gold medal with John Jackson’s Great Britain sled promoted from fifth to third with Russia 2 also disqualified for doping having been originally fourth.

Jackson said, “Disappointingly, it is a medal we should have received on an Olympic podium in 2014. Cheats have cost us that moment, along with other nations too.”

In the two-man, Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann were awarded gold with Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens taking bronze after Russia 2 were also excluded for doping.