As Park City's Steven Holcomb targets the first U.S. medal in 62 years in the Olympic two-man bobsled event tonight, I'm remembering how it all started for him 16 years ago.
Open tryouts in any sport provide ready-made material, with a variety of characters showing up, convinced they belong in the Olympics or professional baseball or whatever that day's opportunity presents.
In the case of winter sports, such tryouts are a valuable source of talent - usually, as a way to discover athletes who have backgrounds in other sports. Football players and track and field athletes, for example, often can transition to bobsled. Holcomb, then 18, was a good example, responding to a flier and coming to Skyline High School on a 100-degree day in July 1998 to undergo the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation's fitness test.<