Steven Holcomb, Gold Medal Bobsledder Who Beat Vision Problems, Dies at 37

In his autobiography, “But Now I See: My Journey from Blindness to Olympic Gold,” Holcomb disclosed that he had battled depression and had attempted suicide in 2007. He said he believed the depression had stemmed largely from the fight to save his vision.

He had been scheduled to fly to Minnesota on Sunday to review bobsled gear for the next season, his agent said. In the 2016-17 Bobsled World Cup, which ended six weeks ago, Holcomb finished second in the two-man event and third in the four-man.

Holcomb had secured his place as a top bobsledder at the Vancouver Games in 2010. The United States team entered those Olympics as the world’s No. 1 squad, but it was up against the perennially dominant Germans and six decades of history.

Photo

Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton celebrating after a run that earned them a bronze medal in the two-man bobsled competition at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Credit
Josh Haner/The New York Times

During four runs over two days, Holcomb and the three other Americans in USA-1 made their task look easy. At speeds that reached 95 miles per hour, Holcomb steered his team’s sleek black sled (nicknamed Night Train) calmly through the course’s 16 stomach-turning curves. He and his fellow sledders even glided through the most treacherous turn, Curve 13, which Holcomb had called 50-50 after watching half the bobsleds crash on it the first time he trained there.

Holcomb’s team completed its four runs in 3 minutes 42.46 seconds, beating Germany for the gold medal by less than half a second and ending the long gold medal drought.

“No more 62 years,” Holcomb said after the victory. “We’ll start the clock over. Now it’s going to be four years.”

Holcomb fell short of repeating at the Sochi Games in 2014,…

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