With the closing of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, many citizens across the world have delved deeper into the training necessary to prepare athletes for competition. U.S. bobsledder Steve Holcomb expands on the difficulties of bobsledding and ho
Whether it is the Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics or Paralympics, spectators across the world agree that the level of physical prowess among participating athletes is a rare achievement. While some sports may seem to get more media coverage than others, a recent article from News.com.au highlights the challenges behind the popular winter sport of bobsledding. As an American bobsledding champion who took home the gold, alongside his team, during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Steven Holcomb comments on the challenges of the sport and its place in athleticism.
The article takes readers back to a time when bobsledding was gaining media attention; during the late 1980s, many were critical of the Jamaican bobsled team due to their lack of familiarity with snow. It discusses the popular film Cool Runnings that, although comical, gave audiences a rare look into some of the challenges that the Jamaican athletes faced when adapting to the wintery sport. In an effort to understand these challenges firsthand, the article's author, Jim Clash of AskMen, convinced the US Bobsled & Skeleton Federation to let him bobsled down "one of the world's toughest bobsled tracks" in Lack Placid, N.Y.
Steve Holcomb commends Clash for taking the initiative to gain insight into the sport, but notes that it is not for everyone. After his run, Clash comments that "It was the most violent physical pounding I had ever endured." He adds that when spectators watch these athletes on TV, athletes make the feat looks much easier than it actually is. Steve Holcomb comments on this common misperception, "It's the same story over and over. I meet somebody and they tell me how easy bobsledding is, or give some line like 'yeah, I could do that.' But when they sit in the sled for the first time, their tune always changes. Trust me, if it was easy, everybody would do it. One of my favorite things to do is to give people rides down the track. They always have a new respect for the sport once they hit 80mph and pull 6 G's."
Before winning gold, Steve Holcomb had to overcome a rare, yet debilitating eye disease known as Keratoconus. Although he was able to repair his vision through the innovative C3-R treatment, he recalls the additional challenges the impairment presented in terms of his athletic performance. Today, however, Steve Holcomb chooses to reflect on the end result of all the determination and hard work that he and his team had to display. He concludes, "I'm glad we were able to put bobsledding back on the map. Winning the Gold in Vancouver was the greatest moment of my life; I wouldn't trade it for anything."
Steven Holcomb is an American bobsledding champion who helped the American bobsled team win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada. Prior to that success, Holcomb faced one of the most challenging problems in his life-overcoming the degenerative eye disease known as Keratoconus. Through an innovative treatment, known as C3-R, Steven Holcomb was able to restore his vision and remain committed to his passion for bobsledding. Before becoming a recognized athlete, Holcomb joined the Utah National Guard in 1999 and served honorably for seven years as a soldier and a combat engineer.