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Steve Holcomb: Profile of US Bobsledding Olympian for Sochi 2014

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29:  Bobsledder Steve Holcomb poses with his medal during the USOC 100 Days Out 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Celebration at Times Square on October 29, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for USOC)
D Dipasupil/Getty Images
Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

Crash Course: The United States never had much success in the bobsled—until Steve Holcomb came along. Holcomb helped the U.S. end a 62-year dry spell in the sport when he drove his team to a gold medal in the four-man event in Vancouver in 2010. Since then, Holcomb has been one of the dominant athletes in both two-man and four-man bobsled. A self-described "computer geek," Holcomb is a certified technician and he regularly helps teammates with their computer issues.

Hot Streak Ends: Holcomb started the 2013 World Cup season on a winning streak. He won seven-of-seven races in North America. Three wins came in the four-man event, while the other four came in two-man bobsled. However, when the World Cup moved to Europe, Holcomb crashed in Winterberg, Germany and finished 20th.

Visual Clarity: Holcomb contracted an ocular disease called keratoconus that resulted in his vision deteriorating to 20-500. The normal treatment would have been a cornea transplant, but that would have ended his career. However, Holcomb found a California surgeon named Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler who pioneered a procedure that saved Holcomb's vision. Wachler placed a contact lens behind Wachler's iris and that gave the bobsledder 20-20 vision after the 2008 procedure. 

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High-level partners: The U.S. Bobsled team has partnered with BMW and Bo-Dyn to engineer the two- and four-man sleds, respectively, to allow the American bobsledders to compete with the fastest equipment. Prior to Holcomb's win in 2010, the U.S. bobsled teams often were at a competitive disadvantage because their sleds were not as fast as the top European teams.

Social media: Holcomb has a Twitter account with more than 12,000 followers. He also has a Facebook page with more than 33,000 likes.

Quote: "We just have to keep the momentum going. It's really easy to get complacent. As we continue to do well, it's just going to get harder and harder and a lot more pressure. You have to stay humbled and focused."—Holcomb to Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today.

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