Monday, September 9, 2013


The past two days I've been asked specifically about Steve Holcomb, which has led me to write this blog.  For those of you who don't know, Steve Holcomb is a two-time Olympic bobsledder who won gold in the 4man in the Vancouver Olympics.  He has won a slew of medals in World Cup competition and in World Championships, including a double gold in the 2012 World Championships in 2man and 4man.  He'll be going for his third Olympics this winter in Sochi and looking to defend his title.

Not only do I admire all his accomplishments, but Holcomb has done quite a bit for the team that he may not even realize.  He's not the out spoken type, Holcy (his nickname) usually is content just sticking to himself and a few others, going through his days and workouts with a silent (or sometimes soft spoken) intensity.  He's not a big time celebrity in the sports world, but those who know bobsled know Holcy.  And this is one of the many things I admire about him.   Even though he's one of the most accomplished athletes in the sport, you'd never know it.  He's not a braggart or one to dwell in past accomplishments, he trains every day with the same intensity as if he's never won a gold medal or multiple world championships- and that's something I admire.  He doesn't wear his accomplishments on his sleeve, but is confident in his abilities and his confidence radiates from him anytime he's at a bobsled track- being around him and seeing what he's able to do in a sled makes you think that maybe you could control your sled like that one day and it gives you something to aspire to.

But few people know what's been happening behind the scenes the past few years. Due to the retirement of some athletes and the unfortunate injuries of others, this past season our World Cup team consisted of 5 out of 6 pilots with 4 or less years of driving experience (this past season was my 3rd season of driving).  Holcomb was the only driver this past season with significant driving experience, let alone an Olympic gold medal as a pilot.  With drivers with hardly any experience, coaches have to spend quite a bit of time teaching them the lines to just get down the track, which is vastly different than the coaching needed for more experienced drivers.  The increased amount of attention the new drivers need definitely puts a strain on the coaching staff, which for more experienced drivers, has to be difficult.  It'd be easy as a veteran driver to get frustrated with this situation, but Holcomb handled it like a champ.  He never said anything when I needed to take Brian Shimer (typically his coach) with me for a track walk when I couldn't figure out a curve.  As a matter of fact, on several occasions, he explained lines to me and helped me understand a curve in an entire new way.

Not only has Holcomb been great at the track, he's given me countless advice on sleds, runners, brakeman, and most importantly- how to handle an Olympic year especially dealing with expectations and pressure.  I greatly admire Holcomb and what he's done for the sport of bobsled, but more importantly how he's helped me grow as a driver.  He didn't have to help me, he didn't have to say a word.  The men's and women's teams- although we travel together- often operate in very separate ways.  However, he's helped me since day 1 and that's something I greatly appreciate.  If I'm blessed enough to win a gold medal in Sochi, he'll definitely be one of the people who helped me get there.

Steve Holcomb, 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, USA Bobsled Pilot


  1. Well not sure if you remember me but I wish you the best this year in Russia. Saw a few of your races over the past couple of years. Nicceee! I'd like to quote the poet Floyd Money Mayweather, "All work is easy work." Go get your gold too E! All that work will pay off.


    Kerrith Bajjo