Steven Holcomb wants to see double in bobsled — double gold medals
Park City native sets sights on two golds at 2014 Sochi Games.
Published: February 28, 2012 09:17AM
Updated: May 24, 2012 11:39PM
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United States' men's four-man bobsled team holds the Martineau Cup after winning the bobsled world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. From left to right, are: Steven Holcomb, Steven Langton, Justin Olsen and Curtis Tomasevicz. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

He won the two-man race at the world championships. He won the four-man. He’s the reigning Olympic gold medalist.

So what else is out there for bobsled driver Steven Holcomb?

“A lot, actually,” he said.

Fresh off another historic performance at the world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he led the Americans to a sweep of the men’s medals, the 31-year-old Park City native is setting his sights on something that will make the résumé really sparkle — an Olympic double at the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia.

Not only does Holcomb want to defend the four-man gold medal he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games — first by an American in 62 years — but he’s also now seriously targeting the title in the two-man race, long considered his “nemesis” in the shadow of his spectacular four-man success.

“That’s kind of a goal of mine,” Holcomb said. “The first and foremost goal.”

With good reason.

No American had ever won both the two-man and the four-man titles at the world championships, and none has ever done it at the Olympics.

But Holcomb won his second four-man world title Sunday, just a week after breaking through for the two-man title (in the same 23-year-old sled that Orem’s Shauna Rohbock drove to a world silver medal last year) with brakeman Steve Langton, a former college sprinter who was new on the Holcomb team this season.

Did it in style, too, putting the hammer down on the last two of four runs down the familiar track to turn a 0.01-second advantage into a blowout half-second victory.

“Yes, I want to win with some authority,” Holcomb said. “As great a race as it makes when you’re winning by hundredths, just eking it out barely at the end ... I want to win by as much as possible. I want to make sure that people know I won. Hands down, that was our race.”

And now, maybe the rest of the bobsled world is convinced.

Holcomb said that after winning his first world championship in four-man in 2009, also on the Lake Placid track, there was “a little bit of doubt” among skeptics about the guy who snapped a 50-year American world title drought.

“They’re just like, ‘Oh, it’s home track, blah, blah, blah,’ ” he said.

Then he won the Olympic gold medal, and now the world championships double.

“Now, I think people are kind of like, ‘OK, wait a second,’ ” Holcomb said. “ ‘Wow. These guys are legit. This is the real deal.’ ”

“Hopefully, I’m starting to make a name for myself,” he added.

Just to be safe, though, Holcomb still wants to win a world title on foreign soil. The closest he has come is a bronze medal last year in Germany, behind two of the powerful Germans. He’ll get a chance next year, with the world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

By then, he might even have a new sled.

Holcomb confirmed his team has been at work on a replacement for his famous all-black “Night Train” sled, even though he’s still driving with the same runners from three years ago.

“When it came out in 2008-2009, that sled was a beast,” Holcomb said. “It still is. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the fastest — if not still the fastest — sled on the hill. But the Germans, the Russians … they’re all catching up. They’re starting to figure out stuff. So hopefully in the next year or two, we come out maybe with a Night Train 2 and figure it out and have something else better.”

Oh, and by the way?

The only man to accomplish the Olympic sweep since 1984 was Germany’s Andre Lange, the winningest bobsled pilot of all time. He did it at the 2006 Turin Games in Italy — four years before Holcomb handed him the only defeat of his Olympic career in Vancouver.

Steve Holcomb

Bobsled driver | Park City | USA

• Snapped a 50-year American medal drought by winning gold in the four-man bobsled at the 2009 World Championships.

• Snapped a 62-year American medal drought by winning gold in the four-man bobsled at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

• Became the first American to win both the two- and four-man bobsled titles at the 2012 World Championships.