Holcomb’s Four-Man Bobsled Team Wins Silver in Igls, Austria World Cup

Dec. 14, 2008, 7:58 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com


For Immediate Release

December 14, 2008


Holcomb’s Four-Man Bobsled Team Wins Silver in Igls, Austria World Cup


IGLS, Austria–Four-man bobsled World Cup competition resumed in Igls, Austria today, where 24 sleds from 14 nations navigated the 1964 Olympic course in search of gold.  Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) claimed the silver medal with his four-man crew, while Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) continued his climb in standings with a ninth place result. 


Watch team USA slide to the podium on-demand by visiting www.UniversalSports.com.  Universal Sports TV will also offer a one-hour highlight show on Tuesday, Dec. 18th at 6 pm EST. 


“I think we proved again that last week was a fluke,” said Holcomb.  “We were eager to come out today and to finish with a medal after the cancellation of last week’s second heat in the four-man race.”


Holcomb’s push team of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Calgary, Alberta) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) powered the sled off the starting block, giving Holcomb’s sled momentum entering the 15-curves of the track with the third and second fastest push times of the day, a 5.02 and 5.00, respectively. 


“The start is not steep here, so the driver is going to benefit from a faster start to generate better velocity,” said Olsen, the 2008 U.S. national push champion.  “We’ve been pushing together for a few weeks, and we’re coming together as a team.”


Holcomb steered his sled down the course for runs of 51.25 and 51.23 seconds, giving USA I a total time of 1:42.48 for the silver medal. 


“Our new four-man Bo-Dyn sled is running really well,” said Holcomb.  “It was fast all week in training, and it was fast when we were in Winterberg and Altenberg.  If I can put together two great runs each week, combined with my push team and the sled, we’ll continue to medal.”


Alexsandr Zubkov from Russia continued his medal streak, adding gold to his two silver medals from the season today with a combined time of 1:42.34. Zubkov teamed with Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Dmitry Stepushkin for push times of 5.00 and 4.98 and runs of 51.15 and 51.19. 


Dmitry Abramovitch steered the second Russian sled to the podium for bronze with his crew of Phillip Egorov, Andrey Jurkov and Petr Moisee. Abramovitch’s team was identical in both heats, pushing 5.04 for a run of 51.27 in both runs for a total time of 1:42.54. 


Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) and his four-man team of TJ Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.), Alex Sprague (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Bill Schuffenhauer (Ogden, Utah) tied for ninth with a two-run total of 1:42.88 after sliding to the finish in 51.54 and 51.34 seconds.


“I’m trying to get better each week,” said Hays.  “I’m hoping for it to come together at World Championships in Lake Placid, and I know each week is another step in the growing pains of returning to competition.”


Hays and his team pushed start times of 5.08 and 5.07 seconds in only their first month of working together.   


“Each time a new crew is created it takes a long time to put together the times and to start medaling,” said Hays.  “It’s part of the procedure, and we learn something new each week and continue to improve.


Reigning Olympic and World champion Andre Lange was in second after a first heat time of 51.24, but fell back five positions after a mishap at the start in the second heat when the sled came out of the drive line and hit the luge start opening.  The defending World Cup champion finished with a total time of 1:42.84 for seventh place. 


Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at www.fibt.com.  For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com. 



1. Zubkov, Oreshnikov, Trunenkov and Stepushkin (RUS) 1:42.34 (51.15, 51.19); 2. Holcomb, Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:42.48 (51.25, 51.23); 3. Abramovitch, Egorov, Jurkov and Moisee (RUS) 1:42.54 (51.27, 51.27);…9. Hays, Burns, Sprague, Schuffenhauer (USA) 1:42.88 (51.54, 51.34);


About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation

The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company and ULU Boots. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project:  Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electronics and Racing Electronics.  For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.