U.S. Bobsledders Set for Sochi Competition
By Tim Hipps
U.S. Army Installation Management Command
KOENIGSSEE, Germany, Jan. 31, 2014 Former U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsled driver Steven Holcomb, along with WCAP brakeman Capt. Chris Fogt and civilians Curt Tomasevicz and Steve Langton, won the 2013-14 World Cup season finale in four-man bobsled Jan. 26.
The victory gave the "Night Train 2" team added confidence heading to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, scheduled for Feb. 7 through 23 in Sochi, Russia.
"The momentum we're building heading into the Olympics is incredible," said Holcomb, 33, of Park City, Utah. "My team has worked so hard and sled technician Jim Garde has been working day in and out making sure the sled does exactly what I need it to. We came out today and put it all together, and it feels great to end the season on this note."
The crew powered the sled off the starting block in 4.81 seconds for a first-run time of 49.11 to lead the competition by 0.07 seconds. As soon as the green light gave USA-1 permission to start the second heat, the Team USA quartet burst off the block, and Holcomb maintained the lead to secure the gold medal.
Holcomb, Tomasevivz, Langton and Fogt were victorious by 0.09 seconds with a total time of 1 minute, 38.54 seconds. Beat Hefti, Alex Baumann, Juerg Egger and Thomas Amrhein claimed silver for Switzerland with a combined time of 1:38.63. Canadians Lyndon Rush, Lascelles Brown, David Bissett and Neville Wright posted a two-run total of 1:38.84 to secure bronze.
Fogt finished 10th in the two-man bobsled event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, where his four-man sled, driven by WCAP Sgt. John Napier, crashed during their first run. At Sochi, Fogt will be the brakeman in the four-man USA-1 sled, driven by Holcomb.
"I try to apply the warrior ethos and mentality of never quitting or accepting defeat in my training and competitions," said Fogt, 30, of Alpine, Utah. "Being a soldier-athlete helps keep me focused and working hard because I am representing more than just my team and myself. I'm representing the most powerful and respected organization in the world. I need to reflect that in the way I present myself, train, and perform."
Sochi-bound WCAP bobsled driver Sgt. Nick Cunningham teamed with WCAP Olympic gold medalist Sgt. Justin Olsen, civilians Johnny Quinn and Abe Morlu to finish 10th with a cumulative time of 1:39:21.
In Sochi, Cunningham will drive USA-2 with WCAP teammates Olsen, Sgt. Dallas Robinson and civilian Quinn aboard. Cunningham also will drive USA-2 in the two-man event.
"It's not just me I'm representing when I'm in the sled," said Cunningham, 28, of Monterey, Calif. "I have all U.S. soldiers behind me as I slide down every track worldwide."
Holcomb, the defending Olympic four-man bobsled champion driver who spent seven years in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, finished the World Cup season ranked second in four-man with 1,514 points. German Maximilian Arndt claimed the title with 1,574 points, and his teammate Thomas Florschuetz was third with 1,400 points.
"It came down to the unfortunate crash we had in Winterberg," Holcomb said. "We would have won the overall four-man title if it hadn't been for that, and it goes to show that every race counts. Our goal was a top five overall finish, and we not only met that, but actually exceeded it. We're right where we want to be going into Sochi."
Holcomb is the combined two-man and four-man World Cup bobsled leader with 3,159 points. Hefti finished second with 2,716 points, and Florschuetz was third with 2,688 points.
Cunningham finished the World Cup season ranked 15th in four-man and 11th in combined points. Cory Butner finished 20th in four-man and 13th combined.