Steven Holcomb adds history medal for US

He’s first US driver since ’52 to claim two medals

Steven Holcomb (left) piloted the US four-man sled to a         third-place finish. It was his second medal in Sochi, as it was         for Melrose’s Steve Langton (second from right).

michael sohn/associated press

Steven Holcomb (left) piloted the US four-man sled to a third-place finish. It was his second medal in Sochi, as it was for Melrose’s Steve Langton (second from right).

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Steven Holcomb might as well be driving USA-62.

Seems like that’s his lucky number at the Olympics.


For the third time in four years and second in just a week, Holcomb snapped a 62-year drought inside the five rings. By finishing third in the four-man bobsled competition Sunday and winning his second bronze medal of the Sochi Games, Holcomb became the first US driver since Stanley Benham in 1952 — 62 years ago — to win two medals in the same Games.

Holcomb won the Americans’ first gold in four-man in since 1948 at the Vancouver Games four years ago, ending another 62-year barren run. Not long after having his second bronze placed around his neck, Holcomb was asked if he knew how long it had been since an American driver had snagged a pair of bobsled medals in the same Games.

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‘‘Please say 62,’’ Holcomb said, flashing a smile. ‘‘It’s mind-blowing. It’s meant to be.’’

So, it seems, was his third-place finish. Unable to catch Russia’s Alexander Zubkov, who became the first driver to win Olympic golds in two- and four-man for a host nation, Holcomb did just enough to hold off Russia-2 driver Alexander Kasjanov. It was the second time Holcomb had nipped Kasjanov on the Sanki Sliding Center track, both coming by 0.03 seconds.

‘‘It was intense,’’ Holcomb said. ‘‘It came down to three-hundredths again, same guy. He hates me, I’m sure.’’


Steve Langton of Melrose, Mass., was also in both medal-winning sleds. On Sunday, Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt also received medals. It was the first career medal for Fogt, who served a yearlong tour in Iraq after the 2010 Vancouver Games and returns to the US Army this spring.

Holcomb entered the third heat in fourth place, but jumped ahead of Germany-1 with a 55.30-second run, putting him into position to medal.

But after Kasjanov posted the fastest fourth run (55.21 seconds), the pressure was on Holcomb. As he made his way down the 17-curve track, his lead over Kasjanov was eroding quickly. But when Holcomb crossed the finish line in 55.33, his medal was assured.

‘‘Luckily, it was three-hundredths again,’’ Holcomb said. ‘‘Three and 62. When I get to Vegas, 3 and 62.’’

Zubkov is the sixth pilot to sweep the two- and four-man at an Olympics. Until now, no one had achieved that feat on home ice, but this track was built for Zubkov and he proved to be its master.

‘‘We did the impossible,’’ Zubkov said.

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