USA Bobsled and Skeleton

USA-1 back on the podium with silver medal performance in four-man bobsled World Cup

Jan. 19, 2014, 1:12 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

USA-1 back on the podium with silver medal performance in four-man bobsled World Cup


IGLS, Austria (Jan. 19, 2014)- Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) followed up his gold medal performance in yesterday’s two-man bobsled race with a silver medal in today’s four-man competition. Holcomb teamed with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) in the Night Train2 for second place, their first four-man podium appearance in Europe this season.

“We wanted to be in the top five standings and we’re sitting in the top five,” Holcomb said. “That allows us to play with things and make little changes to see if we can make things go even faster. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It may seem like we’ve slipped, but it’s to the contrary- we’re on our way up.”

USA-1 pushed the sled into medal contention with a start time of 5.01 seconds, and Holcomb piloted the crew to a lead of 0.01 seconds in the first run. The team high-fived and celebrated as they climbed out of the sled, feeling refreshed to see the number one next to their name once again.

Latvians Oskars Melbardis, Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga put together an outstanding second run to break the track record, and the crew waited at the finish to see if their combined time of 1:42.22 would hold up to the Americans. USA-1 bettered their start with a push time of 4.98 seconds in the final run, and Holcomb had a clean run down the track. Their combined time of 1:42.33 fell 0.11 seconds short of gold, but it was enough to secure the silver medal.

“We’ve now won nine medals this season and this is the first one that’s not gold,” Holcomb said. “Of course we were bummed not to win because we had gold within reach, but we’re still happy to win a medal.”

With Olympic selections announced tonight, Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and his crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) knew they had to lay it all on the line. The crew was in medal contention in last weekend’s four-man race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, but a crucial error exiting one of the corners led to a crash. Cunningham was devastated and eager to regain the team’s confidence this week.

“My guys put me in contention for a medal last week and I let them down,” Cunningham said. “They came back this week with that same drive, and it’s just unreal. They’ve elevated the U.S. program. These guys get their job done at the start, and it motivates me even more to do better and get my job done.”

The crew was aggressive off the start and they posted powerful push times of 5.00 seconds in both heats. Cunningham did his job today by positioning the crew within reach of the medals with the fifth best time of the first heat. He bettered his time in the second run, and USA-2 clocked a total time of 1:42.50 to move into fourth place, just 0.07 seconds from bronze.

“We changed our mentality after last week,” Cunningham said. “We were trying to beat specific teams and realized we were just beating ourselves. We hold our own destiny. We came up with the term ‘P’ to ‘P,’ which means prepare to podium. Week in and week out we need to come out and do the best we can, and the rest will take care of itself.  I think it worked today.”

Germans Thomas Florschuetz, Joshua Bluhm, Kevin Kuske and Christian Poser clocked a combined time of 1:42.43 for third.

Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) partnered with Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to finish 18th with a two-run total of 1:43.08. The crew clocked starts of 5.04 and 5.05 seconds for runs of 51.44 and 51.64 seconds, respectively.

The 2014 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team is expected to be announced at 12 a.m. local time (6 p.m. ET). Dial-in details for a media teleconference call will be provided in the announcement release.

“It’s good to see we have depth,” Holcomb said. “Those guys in Nick’s and Cory’s sleds pushed their hearts out today and it’s really impressive. This is one of the best teams we’ve had, and it’s going to be really heartbreaking in about five hours when not everyone gets an Olympic ticket.”

Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.

Results:

1. Melbardis, Dreiskens, Vilkaste, Strenga (LAT) 1:42.22 (51.15, 51.07); 2. Holcomb, Tomasevicz, S. Langton and Fogt (USA) 1:42.33 (51.14, 51.19); 3. Florschuetz, Bluhm, Kuske and Poser (GER) 1:42.43 (51.30, 51.13); 4. Cunningham, Olsen, Quinn and Robinson (USA) 1:42.50 (51.33, 51.17);…18. Butner, Berkeley, Clark and C. Langton (USA) 1:43.08 (51.44, 51.64);

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.

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