Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Park City Native, Olympic Bobsledder Steven Holcomb Dies

Molly Choma/USABS
Bobsled pilot Steven Holcomb

On Saturday, Olympic gold medal bobsledder and Park City native Steven Holcomb was found dead at a training facility in upstate New York.

Holcomb was at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

According to a preliminary diagnosis by the Adirondack Medical Center, Holcomb’s death was possibly due to pulmonary congestion. Foul play is not suspected. He was 37 years old.

Nick Cunningham is another bobsled pilot on the USA team. He says Holcomb was quiet, always willing to help others, and fast.

"He’s arguably one of the best bobsledder’s ever, of all time," Cunningham says. 

In his career Holcomb earned countless World Cup and World Championship medals. At the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver his team won the gold, breaking a 62-year drought for U.S. bobsledding. 

For part of his career Holcomb developed a degenerative eye disease that left him legally blind. Nick Cunningham says that as a pilot, Holcomb was known to steer the bobsled by feel, instead of sight.

"His visor was all scratched up because he learned how to drive down the track by feeling the pressures and that’s how you want your driver to drive. He did it better than anyone because he had to," Cunningham says. 

Holcomb also struggled with depression and attempted to commit suicide in 2007, before going on to win Olympic gold.

Darrin Steele is the CEO of USA Bobsled and Skeleton. He describes Holcomb as humble.

"He had this presence that was more like, ‘I’m a flawed human like everybody else but I’m doing great things.' That’s a person that people can relate to," Steele says. 

According to Team USA officials, Holcomb remains “one of the most decorated bobsled pilots in the world."

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.