ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 6, 2016)- Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) was elated at the finish after winning his first St. Moritz World Cup medal in his 18-year career today alongside Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) in the BMW two-man bobsled. Holcomb and Valdes secured the silver medal to continue Team USA's medal streak after the women's bobsled victory earlier this morning.
"I've finished fourth on this track so many times," Holcomb said. "I finished third in the 2013 World Championships four-man race, but sure enough, I was fourth in the two-man race. That was my only medal here, but it was World Championships and I haven't been able to medal in a World Cup race on this track. It's my favorite track on the circuit too, so to finally medal here after 18 years, to finally realize I can win a medal here, is great."
Holcomb is still nursing a quadriceps injury from earlier this season. The three-time Olympic medalist and Valdes were able to muster starts of 5.30 and 5.28, 23rd and 18th best of the field. Holcomb's driving skill was on display as he expertly guided the sled to the finish in 1:06.38 and 1:06.40 to put the team into medal position. Holcomb and Valdes clocked a cumulative time of 2:12.78 to claim silver.
"I was hit and miss during training," Holcomb said. "I'm still coming back from a quad injury and was lucky we had some days off because of warm weather this week. I was able to heal and we took it light during training. We had the fastest speeds all week, but we weren't sure how far off we would be at the start and if that would cost us. I'm very happy with how things worked out."
Today's second place finish was Holcomb's second medal of the season. He was victorious in Lake Placid's two-man World Cup race last month.
"It's definitely motivating," Holcomb said. "We have a lot of new guys on the team, and it's been hard for them to hear about our winning results but to never see it. Each time we do well it brings back momentum and the rookies realize we can do it. This will motivate the team, especially going into World Championships next week."
Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann claimed gold for the host nation in 2:12.60. Germans Nico Walther and Christian Poser finished third in 2:12.80.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and James Reed (Garmisch, Germany) partnered for a combined time of 2:13.61 to finish 14th in the KOA branded BMW-made sled. Cunningham and Reed clocked starts of 5.29 and 5.27 for runs of 1:06.73 and 1:06.88, respectively.
Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) is no stranger to the elite circuit, but his accolades were earned as a push athlete for Holcomb. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist made his World Cup debut as a driver today. Olsen and Sam McGuffie(Cypress, Texas) missed the top 20 cutoff for a second heat by 0.19 seconds with a first run time of 1:07.12, finishing 21st out of 31 sleds. The pair pushed an impressive start time of 5.23 seconds in their first time racing together.
Competitions from St. Moritz are scheduled to air on Universal HD. Please check local listings to find the Universal HD channel in your area and for updated air times. Racing continues on the all-natural track tomorrow with the four-person bobsled competition before the tour moves to Igls, Austria for the 2016 World Championships.
Visit www.usabs.com for updates and results from the various tours. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250. Get updates on the team by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram.
1. Hefti and Baumann (SUI) 2:12.60 (1:06.17, 1:06.43);
2. Holcomb and Valdes (USA) 2:12.78 (1:06.38, 1:06.40);
3. Walther and Poser (GER) 2:12.80 (1:06.49, 1:06.31);
14. Cunningham and Reed (USA) 2:13.61 (1:06.73, 1:06.88);
21. Olsen and McGuffie (USA) 1:07.12 (1:07.12, DNS);
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, Aspen Institute's Project Play, EDAS/Ripxx, Tesa Tape, UberSense, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Protostar, Machintek and deBotech, Carpenter and PVS International. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.