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Steven Holcomb’s Olympic legacy to grow, for a final time

Steven Holcomb’s circle of relatives, and his bobsled teammates, set to after all obtain silver medals from 2014 Sochi Video games

U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb is getting one final victory birthday celebration.

An extended past due one.

Greater than 2 half years after his dying — and virtually six years got rid of from the bobsled races in query — Holcomb and his staff are about to after all be offered the silver medals that they will have to have gained on the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Holcomb and teammates Steven Langton, Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz had been at the beginning awarded bronze medals, which have been ultimately upgraded after an extended probe of the Russian doping scandal that now overshadows the ones video games.

The medal reallocation will happen on the Staff USA Awards in Los Angeles. Langton, Fogt and Tomasevicz are all anticipated to wait, as is longtime U.S. bobsled trainer Brian Shimer and different most sensible American sliding officers. Holcomb, who used to be 37 when he died in his sleep on the Olympic Coaching Middle in Lake Placid, New York in Might 2017, might be represented by way of his circle of relatives.

“I believe the phrase that involves thoughts maximum temporarily is bittersweet,” stated Jean Schaefer, Holcomb’s mom. “It is indisputably a super honor for Steven and I am so very, very happy with him — as I’ve been so very happy with him his entire lifestyles. However there may be additionally a super disappointment that he is now not right here to benefit from the culmination of his efforts and to rejoice together with his staff.”

It took years to get so far: Russia, which gained the two- and four-man bobsled races on the 2014 Video games on its house ice, used to be stripped of the ones titles in November 2017 after the lengthy investigation into the state-sponsored doping program at that Olympics.

However it took the World Olympic Committee till this previous March to officially reallocate the medals. Latvia used to be upgraded to gold in four-man, with Britain shifting as much as bronze. In two-man, Switzerland ultimately used to be increased to gold, with Latvia as much as bronze.

The U.S., which left Sochi with bronzes from each races, is now identified because the silver medalist in each. Holcomb and Langton had been within the two-man sled; Holcomb drove Langton, Fogt and Tomasevicz within the four-man race.

“Holcomb made such an have an effect on on such a lot of other people’s lives,” stated Kaillie Humphries, the longtime Canadian bobsledder and two-time Olympic girls’s champion who’s now competing for the U.S. “He used to be the most productive.”

Holcomb, who had prescription dozing drugs and alcohol in his gadget at the night time that he died and used to be so depressed by way of failing eyesight in 2007 that he tried suicide, used to be by way of a ways the most productive bobsledder within the U.S. program — in all probability ever. He used to be a winner of no less than 60 Global Cup medals, greater than a dozen Global Cup championship trophies and the more than a few awards from his occupation are scattered in regards to the houses of his kinfolk.

His mom’s goal for the silver medals is they be donated to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee archives. The USOPC used to be in ownership of Holcomb’s bronze medals, as a present from his circle of relatives, once they needed to be surrendered to the IOC with a purpose to obtain the brand new silvers.

“Steven as soon as instructed me that his medals were not simply medals for him or his staff,” Schaefer stated. “They had been medals for his nation. They represented The us and he used to be very happy with that and I believe he could be very proud to grasp that his medals live the place other people can see them and experience them.”

Holcomb would were a lock for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Staff as neatly, the place he will have added to his medal haul — he drove the U.S. to gold within the four-man race on the 2010 Vancouver Video games, finishing a 62-year drought for the American citizens in bobsledding’s signature race.

His mom went to Pyeongchang final yr as a substitute, representing her son and his reminiscence. The grieving procedure isn’t over, even though Tuesday’s tournament is sure to convey again satisfied ideas as neatly.

“I am as OK as I will be able to be,” Schaefer stated. “I do not know if a father or mother ever will get over the loss of a kid, as a result of it is on no account the herbal order of items. And I’ve to mention that the fortify of his teammates and the Olympic circle of relatives is improbable. Simply improbable. You’re feeling the affection at all times.”

She is going to really feel it once more Tuesday, yet one more time.

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