USA Bobsled, the late Steve Holcomb awarded Olympic silver medal upgrades from 2014 Games

KRASNAYA POLYANA, RUSSIA - JANUARY 23: USA's Steven Holcomb, Chris Fogt, Curtis Tomasevicz, and Steve Langton, celebrate after the four-man bobsled at Sanki Sliding Center during the 2014 Sochi Olympics Sunday February 23, 2014. They won the bronze medal with a cumulative time of 3:40.99. (Photo by Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune)

Steven Holcomb’s legendary resume just got a little bit shinier.

The United States Olympic Committee and USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Wednesday announced it received official notification from the International Olympic Committee that both the two-man bobsled team of the late Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton and the four-man bobsled team of Holcomb, Langton, Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz have been awarded the silver medals after originally finishing third at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

“This is a long time coming, and it’s great to see these athletes get the medals they earned,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele. “It doesn’t make up for the experience they missed out on at the Games, but it was the right thing to do and we’re all proud of them and what they accomplished.”

In Sochi, Holcomb and Langton initially finished third in the two-man event, behind first-place Russia and second-place Switzerland, while Holcomb, Langton, Fogt and Tomasevicz also finished third in the four-man event behind first-place Russia and second-place Latvia. In 2017, after reanalysis of samples from Sochi, gold-medal winning pilot Alexander Zubkov and push athlete Alexey Voevoda of the Russian two-man and four-man winning sleds were disqualified for doping offenses and stripped of their medals. Following the exhaustion of appeals, the American teams from both events are now officially the silver medalists.

The medals will be presented to the athletes and Holcomb’s family in a ceremony with details to be announced.

“We have always believed in competing with integrity and respect for ourselves, our sport and for our competitors,” Fogt, Langton and Tomasevicz said in a joint statement. “It’s unfortunate that our results were not official in February of 2014 and that we’ve had to endure the long process to see justice finally served. We are happy that we now can celebrate and be proud of the silver medal accomplishments. We commend the IOC, WADA, the IBSF and the USOC for their willingness to take a stand for what is right and follow through on their mission of keeping sport clean. We encourage them to stand firm and continue their fight against individuals looking to undermine the discipline and dedication of clean athletes.

“This result appropriately bolsters Holcomb’s legacy as one of the very best athletes to ever drive a bobsled. Being the fierce competitor and advocate for clean sport that that he was, he would be smiling knowing that we’re one step closer to a fair playing field. As a team, it means a lot to have our efforts, sacrifice and hard work appropriately vindicated. That being said, this is a win not just for Team Holcomb but for all athletes who continue to do the right thing.”

Holcomb, who grew up in Park City, passed away unexpectedly in May 2017. He piloted both medal-winning sleds at the Sochi Games.

“We are so proud of Steven and all that he accomplished, both on and off the ice,” said Jean Schaefer, Holcomb’s mother. “We are happy that he and his teammates are to be recognized as the silver medalists, their rightful place. While we wish Steven could accept his silver medals alongside his teammates, our family is honored to accept them on his behalf.”

As a three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion, Holcomb is the most decorated U.S. bobsledder in history. He piloted the four-man “Night Train” sled with teammates Steve Mesler, Justin Olsen and Tomasevicz to gold at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, marking Team USA’s first gold in the event since 1948, before piloting the two-man and four-man sleds to silver medals at Sochi 2014.

With the medal reallocation, Langton now also holds two silver medals from Sochi. He is a three-time Olympian (2010, 2014, 2018) and two-time world champion (2012 two-man and four-man). Tomasevicz, who was a part of the gold-medal “Night Train” with Holcomb, has won one gold and one silver Olympic medal.

He is a three-time Olympian (2006, 2010, 2014) and three-time world champion (2009 four-man, 2012 four-man, 2013 bobsled/skeleton team event). Fogt holds one silver medal and is also a three-time Olympian (2010, 2014, 2018). As a second lieutenant in the military intelligence branch of the U.S. Army, he spent a year deployed in Iraq between the 2010 and 2014 Games.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Steven, Steve, Curt and Chris for their deserved silver medals and this long-awaited recognition,” said USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “These athletes’ commitment to competitive excellence and clean sport has been boundless, and though they should have received their silver medals together on the podium in 2014, we still celebrate their hard-fought achievements today. We also send our respects to Steven’s family, along with our profound sadness that Steven cannot be with us to receive his silver medals. Steven was an athlete with incredible work ethic, kindness and integrity. He was an ambassador for his sport, for Team USA and for our country. He will forever be remembered as a legend and an inspiration, and his legacy and example will live on always.”