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U.S. sweeps men’s World Cup two-man bobsled podium for first time ever
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Dec. 14, 2013)- The U.S. team swept the two-man bobsled World Cup podium for the first time ever today in Lake Placid. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) is now 6-for-6 after claiming gold with Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah), Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) earned silver, and Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) completed the historic sweep by finishing third.
“It’s something as a coach I’ve seen over my career, especially with the Swiss flags flying, the German flags flying. Now I get it to witness it with the American flag flying,” said Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach. “I couldn’t be more proud of the athletes, to see their hard work. For them to realize the hard work that goes into this to pay off, it sets a great tone for the second half leading to Sochi.”
Holcomb was victorious yesterday with Steven Langton and was the favorite for gold again today with Fogt. The duo powered the BMW manufactured sled off the start in 5.18 seconds to post a time of 55.09 for the first run lead. Cunningham and Quinn trailed their teammates by 0.16 seconds after posting a run of 55.25 seconds for second position, while Butner and Berkeley were in third with a time of 55.32 seconds. Russian Alexander Tretiakov and German Maximilian Arndt were in position to deny the Americans a sweep of the medals, finishing just hundredths of a second from Butner.
“It’s good [to have my teammates right behind me],” Holcomb said. “Those guys keep me on my toes. Competition breeds excellence. Those guys are breathing down my neck so I have to step up my game. I think it’s great. The camaraderie is there. When they’re doing well and are happy, it motivates us and motivates my guys. When these guys are doing well, it’s great to see them up there. They’ve worked hard and put a lot of hours in. To see them doing well is good.”
Butner and Berkeley were the first of the Americans to take a final run. The crew had a slight slip at the start, and Butner fell behind German pilot Thomas Florschuetz’s time as he navigated the course. Not until the final split was Butner able to pull ahead to secure bronze with a combined time of 1:50.85.
Cunningham and Quinn were the next American team to take their run. Motivated after watching their teammates secure a medal and eager to join them on the podium, Cunningham threaded together a speedy run to finish with a total time of 1:50.74, good enough for at least a silver medal.
“To be chasing down a guy of [Holcomb’s] caliber, and to even be in a conversation with him is unbelievable,” Cunningham said. “Today really does show the hard work that we put in this off-season, all the way down the line from everybody. The sled techs and coaches did their job. We can’t race without the best support in the world. Everyone won these medals today. For Johnny to come out here and to earn his first silver medal is huge, and I’m happy to have him with me.”
“It’s taken four year to get my first World Cup medal,” Quinn said. “I couldn’t have done it without his driving and his pushing. This is sweet. And to top that off, to have all three of our best sleds on the podium – what a feeling. It was unbelievable.”
The four U.S. team members stood at the finish cheering on Holcomb and Fogt as they took the final run of the competition. Holcomb continued to pull away from the field and clocked a two-run total of 1:50.19 to convincingly grab gold by whopping 0.55 seconds.
“We’re never fully satisfied,” Holcomb said. “This race is done, it’s behind us now. We’re going to go out and improve on this and go even better tomorrow.”
Racing continues today with the women’s bobsled competition, and the men are back on the hill tomorrow at 1 p.m. to race for gold in the four-man bobsled race.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Steven Holcomb and Chris Fogt (USA) 1:50.19 (55.09, 55.10); 2. Nick Cunningham and Johnny Quinn (USA) 1:50.74 (55.25, 55.49); 3. Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley (USA) 1:50.85 (55.32, 55.53);
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, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.