Steven Holcomb, 33, is attempting to become the first American driver since 1932 to win consecutive Olympic golds in the four-man bobsled. He’s also entered in two-man and looking to be the first American since 1936 to win that event. No U.S. bobsledder has ever won both in the same year.
Four years ago in Vancouver, Holcomb guided the first U.S. four-man sled to capture gold since 1948. His crew included Steve Mesler, the Buffalo native and City Honors graduate, who has since retired.
Holcomb, a native of Park City, Utah, began as a downhill skier, but soon found his true calling as a bobsled driver. John Morgan, an NBC commentator and bobsled veteran, marvels at Holcomb’s equanimity on the course and said “He was born to drive a bobsled.”
He was also born with a serious, degenerative eye disease, which nearly cost Holcomb his sight. In his autobiography, “My Journey From Blindness to Olympic Gold,” Holcomb wrote of his battle with depression – and a suicide attempt – as he dealt with the possible loss of his vision.
Holcomb had surgery on his eye in March of 2008 and won the World Cup a year later. “I didn’t really have any options,” Holcomb said in a Voice of America interview. “It was retire and go blind or save my eyes and continue my career. I was lucky. It worked out fabulous and I have 20-20 vision.