After enduring a 62-year Olympic medal drought in two-man bobsled, the United States finally earned a podium finish Feb. 17 as driver Steve Holcomb and brakeman Steve Langton slid their BMW sled to bronze in the event final at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
Taking the gold with a cumulative time of 3:45.39 were Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda of Russia-1, who opened the competition by setting a new track record of 56.25 and held the lead throughout all four heats. After briefly holding silver medal position following the first heat, USA-1 gave way to the Swiss sled piloted by Beat Hefti, who eventually took second place behind Zubkov. Holcomb held off the hard-charging Russia-2 to take the bronze with a four-heat time of 3:46.27 to the Russians' 3:46.30.
Holcomb, 33, piloted the Night Train four-man bobsled to gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He'll face a tough task defending the title during the Feb. 23 event final, as the vastly better-rehearsed Zubkov --who, according to USA Today, skipped the final World Cup race of the season to practice more on his home track-- will be in the mix.
Bobsled action from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi continues Feb. 18 with the first two runs of the women's competition.