Bodines Bobsled Wins Gold

WHISTLER, B.C. - Turns out that the Night Train is pretty fast in daylight, too.

The United States Olympic drought that lasted over several generations of bobsledders and at least one lifetime ended Sunday afternoon when driver Steve Holcomb drove his Bo-Dyn four man crew to a gold medal at the Whistler Sliding Center. It marked the first four-man gold medal since the Winter Games of 1948.

Helped by track records in the opening two heats on Saturday, Holcomb, with crew members Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz on the brakes came to the 16-turn track Sunday with a .4 of a second lead over Canada’s Lyndon Rush and .44 ahead of German icon Andre Lange.

Holcomb, in the Bo-Dyn Night Train bobsled that captured the world championship one year ago, extended the advantage to .45 with the best third run. With no troubles on the fast and treacherous course, the Night Train safely negotiated its way to the third best final leg and wound up defeating Lange by .38 of a second. Rush, second through the first three runs, was overtaken by Lange in the finale and placed another .01 behind and in the bronze medal position.

Then, for Holcomb, it was the reality of the moment. "No, it's just like last week [during the two-man race] walking through the media zone, but it's a little different talking about gold medals," he stated afterward. "It'll take a little while to sink in. You work so hard to get somewhere and you finally get there and you're kinda like 'Now what?’ I don't know what to do, but at the same time, these guys have been training so hard and working so hard for pretty much the last four years, to finally end on a high note like this is huge."

Holcomb and crew totaled three minutes, 24.46 seconds for their four heats. Lange’s silver medal time was 3:24.84, while Rush clocked in with 3:24.85.

"It’s been a long road. We’ve been building this for quite some time," sighed Darrin Steele, CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. "The athletes have been amazing. Steve’s crew had the fastest pushes and he’s a great driver. There are lots of proud people celebrating in our little family. Steve always had a gift. He was working on his skills for a long time. He is a hell of an athlete... a hell of a driver. It’s a great day for the USA."

Steele faced one media scrum during the post-race revelry as his gold medal team was head-to-head with other press.

"I’m a dreamer. That’s why I took the job," continued Steele. "When these guys won the world championship and broke that 50-year drought, it was a reminder that they could do this in the Olympics. They did this as a team and did this right. I couldn’t be more proud of them."

It was the perfect storm of great driving, outstanding coaching, team chemistry and camaraderie and the evolution of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project.

"With the Bo-Dyn Project, our sleds are as good or better than the competition. But we’ve also built a pipeline of talent. No one gets complacent. They came into the season in the best shape I’ve ever seen them."

Pilot Mike Kohn, teaming with Jamie Moriarity, Bill Schuffenhauer and Nick Cunningham on the brakes, finished 13th in 3:27.32.

John Napier’s sled withdrew after yesterday’s crash that left his foursome a bit sore and bruised, but not so much that they couldn’t assist with the gold medal celebration.

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