Brothers And Teammates (7/22/13)
|Chris and I before a little league game|
|Chris and I lifting in Lake Placid|
|Chris and I after a lacrosse game at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca|
|Nick Cunningham, me, Chris, Chris Fogt and Andreas Drbal in St.
Moritz, Switzerland on New Year's 2013
|Chris representing the Big Red during his lacrosse days|
|Chris' size and athleticism show why he's made an immediate impact
|Chris and I with the middle Langton brother, Sean|
Growing up with two athletic parents, my brothers and I learned to love athletics at a very young age. Like any good brothers, Sean, Chris and I are very close and supportive of one another. We are also extremely competitive. As children our parents encouraged healthy competition and, in retrospect, that encouragement played a huge role in the success that my brothers and I have found in our respective sports. Growing up, if we weren't outside honing our skills or just horsing around, like boys do, we were undoubtedly watching the Red Sox, Celtics or the Patriots. Sports always have been and always will be a way of life in the Langton household.
With three boys running around the house and playing almost every sport imaginable, our mother had to go food shopping at least a few times a week. As far as I’m concerned, my mother is one of the best cooks in Boston. When my brothers and I are home, we have no shame in taking full advantage of her culinary talents. When we’re not home, she frequently sends steak tips from our favorite local butcher shop to make sure that her boys are well-fed at all times. Thanks, Mom!
My youngest brother, Chris, and I are separated by nearly six years in age. We attended the same schools but at different times. Naturally, we always had different groups of friends and played alongside different teammates. That all changed this past year. After being named to the national team, the 2012-13 World Cup season was the first time that Chris and I had the chance to compete as teammates.
I attended Northeastern University, where I competed for the university’s track & field team. One year after graduating, I took a chance with bobsled and ultimately worked my way onto the national team in my first competitive season. I am currently living and training in Lake Placid, as I have been for the past six years. With the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on the horizon, I am working diligently every day to continue to better myself both as a push athlete and as a member of Team USA.
Chris attended Cornell University where he played four years of varsity lacrosse. After seeing my growth as an athlete following my first summer in Lake Placid, he decided to live and train in there prior to his senior season. Over the course of that summer Chris made significant gains in both the weight room, on the track and, without sounding too corny, I saw a lot of growth in him as a person as well. He returned to school in fantastic shape and was ready to take on the NCAA for his last season with the Big Red. As a direct result of his hard work and dedication to his training he was recognized with both “All-Ivy” and “East-West All-Star” honors and was drafted in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Draft. During that summer he spent in Lake Placid he was introduced firsthand to the sport of bobsled. It didn’t take long for him to realize that this unfamiliar, unique sport that he had watched his older brother compete in for years was something that he wanted to personally pursue.
In his first competitive season, Chris earned a spot and competed on the 2012-13 World Cup circuit. The opportunity to compete alongside my brother — wearing the same colors and working towards united goals — is an extraordinary and infrequent opportunity and one that I am very grateful for. I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished.
When you’re young, six years seems like a lifetime. That’s the span that separates me and my oldest brother Steve. I can’t remember ever thinking that Steve and I would someday share similar interests. When I was young that scenario seemed impossible. When Steve was preparing for high school, I was preparing for the rigors of Mrs. Fennel’s third grade class. As he was on his way to college, I had yet to make my way to junior high. I don’t recall the thought ever entering my mind that at some point in our lives the two of us would share the same friends, interests, and most importantly, aspirations. And for a long while, we didn’t.
I knew after watching my brother compete in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games that after graduating from college I would try my hand at bobsledding. I moved to Lake Placid a month after graduation to join Steve and before we knew it our journey together began.
Two brothers, separated by the better half of a decade, having never attended school together and having never competed on the same sports team, now live together, train together and, for all intents and purposes, do everything together. Although Steve has established himself as an international force in our sport and I have only one season under my belt, we both ultimately share the same goal of representing our country at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
With the 2013-14 season rapidly approaching and he Olympic Games only six months away, I feel confident knowing I have my brother and now teammate by my side.
The bond between brothers is unlike any other. Sean, Chris and I have always been very close and that is something I can honestly say I have never taken for granted. Now, with the chance to compete with my youngest brother in the sport which we both love, I make sure to remind myself, every day, just how special of an opportunity I have been given.
Walking into the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver is a memory that will never leave me. There was an energy in the arena unlike anything I had ever felt. I would love nothing more than to experience that feeling again, this time, with my brother by my side.
Here's to brothers, friends, teammates, Team USA and Sochi 2014.
Be sure to follow Steve & Chris on Twitter!