Holcomb Wins Silver on 2010 Olympic Track

Feb. 07, 2009, 11:08 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2009Holcomb Wins Silver on 2010 Olympic Track

WHISTLER, Canada-The U.S. men's bobsled team proved they will be a force to be reckoned with on the 2010 Olympic track next year by medaling in today's four-man bobsled World Cup event. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) claimed the silver medal on what has been tagged as one of the fastest tracks in the world, and Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) was within reach of the podium in fifth. "There's a nice time gap between us and third place, so I feel great about today," said Holcomb. "I definitely have confidence going into the Olympics. Our BoDyn sled, the Night Train, is running really quick and is set up well. I just need to keep it pointed straight and we'll be fast."

Holcomb teamed with Steve Mesler (Calgary, Alberta), Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb. and Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) to blow away the field by setting the start record with a push time of 4.76 seconds in the second heat.

Team USA I slid to the finish in 50.99 and 51.24 seconds for a combined time of 1:42.23, finishing a mere six-hundredths of a second from the lead.

"You don't want to go into an Olympic year knowing you won the year before, because that's too much pressure," said Holcomb. "We broke the start record, and I made some mistakes at the bottom that I know we can make up, so we're in good position for next season."

Team Holcomb not only walked away with a medal on the 2010 Olympic track, but they also named corner 13 the "50/50" curve.

"We're proud of the fact that we got to name a corner on the Olympic track," said Mesler. "The four-man sleds have had a 50-percent chance to either make it through or not. We feel like we're a part of this track's history now that the name we gave the corner has stuck."

Janis Minins from Latvia and his crew of Daumants Dreiskens, Oskars Melbardis and Intars Dambis claimed gold with a total time of 1:42.17 after sliding the fastest runs of the competition, a 50.97 and 51.20. The current World Cup leader, Alexander Zubkov, teamed with Philipp Egorov, Petr Moiseev and Alexey Andryunin for the bronze after sliding runs of 51.18 and 51.49 for a two-heat total of 1:42.67.

Hays and his crew of TJ Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.), Alex Sprague (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Bill Schuffenhauer (Ogden, Utah) finished within reach of the podium in fifth with a combined time of 1:43.99.

"I feel great," said Hays. "Yesterday's result was a disaster for me, and I made the wrong adjustments in my driving. On a track like this you can't afford to make mistakes, or it puts you in a bad position. I know that if I can put it together, I'll be in the running for the medals next year. I'm excited to come back here for the Olympics."


Hays and his team pushed identical start times of 4.82 seconds for runs of 51.42 and 51.60. John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) teamed with Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.) to finish tenth with a combined time of 1:43.16.

Team USA III pushed a start time of 4.86 seconds for a first run of 51.56, and the young driver showed his potential on the tricky course by navigating his sled to the finish with the fifth fastest run of the second heat with a time of 51.60 seconds.

"I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here," said Napier. "The Army World Class Athlete Program has supported me, and now here I am sliding the Olympic track and I feel great. This track is intense, and I like the adrenalin rush. The BoDyn sleds are awesome, and everything feels like it's coming together."

Cheer on team USA by watching video on-demand by visiting www.UniversalSports.com.


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. Results:

1. Minins, Dreiskens, Melbardis and Dambis (LAT) 1:42.17 (50.97, 51.20); 2. Holcomb, Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:42.23 (50.99, 51.24); 3. Zubkov, Egorov, Moiseev and Andryunin (RUS) 1:42.67 (51.18, 51.49);...5. Hays, Burns, Sprague and Schuffenhauer (USA) 1:43.02 (51.42, 51.60);...10. Napier, Moriarty, Beckom and Butner (USA) 1:43.16 (51.56, 51.60);

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, ULU Boots and Ferris Mfg. Corp. 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.