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USA-1 sweeps World Championships with four-man bobsled win
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Feb. 26, 2012)–Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) made history with his USA-1 push crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) as the first U.S. pilot ever to sweep the two and four-man bobsled World Championship races. USA-1 held a slight lead of 0.01 seconds after yesterday’s first two heats at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and pulled ahead by 0.50 seconds in the finale to convincingly claim the trophy.
“I’m a little overwhelmed,” Holcomb said. “You work so hard to get there that when you finally do it takes some time to sink in. It’s the first time we’ve won all three events, so it’s a great feeling.”
The U.S. claimed five medals, including four gold, to mark the most successful World Championships for the program. Holcomb swept all three of his events by winning the two-man bobsled and team event titles a week ago from today.
The crew was fueled by “USA” chants at the start before powering off the block for a push time of 4.94 seconds in the third run. Holcomb navigated the BMW sled down the course with ease and pulled ahead of the field by 0.21 seconds after clocking a blazing run of 53.92. Before the finale, Holcomb tweeted: “Solid first run. Need to relax, stay focused, and do it one more time. Let’s bring it home!”
“I was nervous going into the second run,” Holcomb said. “We were ahead by two-tenths, but you know I lost two-tenths in the two-man at the bottom. I had to make sure I was focused the whole way down. The great pushes at the start gave me some room to make some mistakes.”
USA-1 validated their reputation as the fastest push team in the world by again dominating off the block with a start time of 4.95 seconds. Team members and fans cheered at the finish as USA-1 gained time on their competition during their final descent, reaching speeds of up to 130.49 km/h. Holcomb extended USA-1’s lead to 0.50 seconds with a four-run combined time of 3:36.83, and they were greeted with a barrage of hugs and high-fives from team members as they climbed out of the sled at the finish.
“It’s awesome (to hear USA cheers), and it’s great to have a hometown crowd,” Holcomb said. “That is why it’s awesome to compete in World Championships in your home country, because you have all the support.”
Maximillian Arndt teamed with Alexander Roediger, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze to claim silver for Germany with a total time of 3:37.33. The second German team of Manuel Machata, Marko Huebenbecker, Andreas Bredau and Christian Poser finished in third position with a cumulative time of 3:37.63.
USA-3 of Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.), Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) moved up one position into 13th to conclude their season together. Team USA-3 posted starts of 5.07 and 5.04 seconds for runs of 54.53 and 54.59 seconds, respectively, today. Cunningham drove the team to a total time of 3:39.68 to finish ahead of a competitive field of World Championship veterans.
“Words don’t really explain the emotion that I have when I think about my first World Championships on home ice and seeing our whole team come together,” Cunningham said. “I wish we had a couple more runs because we’re getting faster.”
National Guardsman John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and his USA-2 squad of Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), and Army soldier Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) were disqualified in yesterday’s second heat after Clark slipped on the bunk while loading and was unable to get into the sled. USA-2 was at today’s final to cheer on their teammates to gold, and Napier even lent his runners to Cunningham to help USA-3 strive for the podium.
“The first thing that Napier did last night was give me his runners,” Cunningham said. “He wanted me to go fast. The character of these guys just stepping up for the team is awesome; they are pushing their hearts out for the team. My name is on the board but it’s all of us together.”
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Holcomb, Olsen, Langton and Tomasevicz (USA) 3:36.83 (54.34, 54.58, 53.92, 53.99); 2. Arndt, Roediger, Kuske and Putze (GER) 3:37.33 (54.19, 54.74, 54.12, 54.28); 3. Machata, Huebenbecker, Bredau and Poser (GER) 3:37.63 (54.38, 54.82, 54.25, 54.18);…13. Cunningham, Beckom, Quinn and Robinson (USA) 3:39.68 (55.21, 55.35, 54.53, 54.59);…Napier, Berkeley, Clark and Fogt (USA) DSQ;
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.