Mired in a tie for seventh place and 0.45 seconds behind the leader in a sport where hundredths of a second separate victory from also-rans, veteran pilot Steven Holcomb used an amazing second run comeback to take bronze Saturday in two-man bobsled at the world cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
After a first run time of 1:05.85, prospects of a medal for the three-time Olympian and brakeman Carlo Valdes didn’t appear terribly rosy. But Holcomb drew on the skill and experience that earned him a pair of Olympic bronze medals in 2014 and a four-person gold in 2010 lop 0.40 seconds off his second-run time, finishing in 1:05.45 for a total of 2:11.30. That was good enough to edge Germany’s Nico Walther off the podium by 0.02 seconds.
“We had a nice comeback today, it feels great,” Holcomb told USA Bobsled & Skeleton afterward. “The draw hurt us in the first run, but we were able to make up for it in the second run. This is a gliding track, so you have to let it fly, but there are some technical spots that can slow you down considerably if you don’t do them right. I have the experience to know when to let it fly, which helped us today.”
Germany took the top two spots as Johannes Lochner upgraded last week’s silver medal into gold in St. Moritz. His 2:10.63 was 0.28 faster than teammate Francesco Friedrich.
The bronze, combined with a gold medal in December in Lake Placid, New York, moved Holcomb from sixth to third in the world cup standings.