Steven Holcomb

Steve Holcomb thinking repeat as he trains for Sochi

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Where do bobsledders train in August? Southern California, of course.

NBC 7 in San Diego caught up with 2010 Olympic champion Steve Holcomb, who’s preparing for Sochi Games on the sizzling track at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

In Vancouver, Holcomb piloted the Night Train sled to the U.S.’ first men’s bobsled gold medal since 1948. In Sochi, he’ll try to become the first American to repeat at the Olympics since 1932.

“Going into Sochi, we’re all now experienced, we’ve all been there,” Holcomb, 33, said of his crew. “We know not only what it takes to be an Olympian, not only what it’s like to be in that pressure of the Olympics, but now we know what it’s like to win.”

Three of the four members of the Night Train are still there — Holcomb, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz. Steve Mesler, the fourth, has retired. He’s been replaced by Steve Langton, a part of the USA-2 sled in Vancouver.

The Night Train itself is a little different, too. Holcomb received a new version of the Bo-Dyn sled in March.

“It’s called the Night Train squared, not the Night Train two, because it’s exponentially better,” Holcomb said.

So, what are Holcomb’s chances of winning another Olympic gold? Well, he’ll have to break a four-year drought. Holcomb hasn’t won a World Cup or World Championship race outside of North America since 2009. The favorites, for now, are Russian, German and Latvian four-man teams.

Win or lose, Holcomb’s patented celebration, the Holcy Dance, may not make another appearance.

“I haven’t figured out what we’re going to do yet,” Holcomb said. “The Harlem Shake might be a little weird.”

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Usain Bolt scores goal, PK at Borussia Dortmund training (video)

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Usain Bolt scored a goal, converted from the penalty spot and nutmegged a Borussia Dortmund player in an hourlong training session with the club on Friday.

Bolt trained with Dortmund on Thursday and Friday. The first day included a private session.

Friday’s was open to the public — about 1,400 spectators in low-40-degree temperatures, according to the club — and media and live streamed on Dortmund’s YouTube page with English commentary (video here).

“I’m just going to try to continue training,” Bolt said. “I’ve talked to the club and told them I’m really serious about this. They told me I should come back for a longer period, do some more training and then they can assess me and tell me what level I can play at.”

Bolt has long dreamed of suiting up for his favorite club, Manchester United, and said he has the ability to make Jamaica’s national team.

“We’re going there to be serious,” Bolt said on Jamaican TV two weeks ago of his trip to Germany. “I want to go there to test my skills.”

His only lined-up competitive action is a June 10 charity match at Old Trafford with other celebrities and retired soccer players.

Bolt and Dortmund share an apparel sponsor in Puma.

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Caeleb Dressel shatters 50 freestyle record, goes sub-18 twice (video)

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Caeleb Dressel staked his claim as the world’s greatest swimmer last year. He’s off to a pretty good start this year, too.

Dressel, who matched Michael Phelps‘ record with seven gold medals at the 2017 World Championships, shattered his own NCAA and American records in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships on Thursday night.

The University of Florida senior became the first swimmer to break 18 seconds in the event, which is contested in a 25-yard pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for major international meets like the Olympics.

Dressel came into Thursday with the 11 fastest times ever, holding the NCAA and American record with an 18.20.

Then Dressel clocked 18.11 in Thursday morning’s preliminary session.

In the evening finals, he led off UF’s 200-yard free relay team with a 17.81, igniting a roar from the crowd at the University of Minnesota. About 50 minutes later, Dressel clocked 17.63 to win the individual 50 free, hitting his pre-meet goal time.

“There needs to be a fine line between goal setting and laughter,” said Dressel, who kneels, says a prayer and talks to himself before races to stay calm. “I don’t think you should sell yourself short. This meet, I think 17.6 was a perfect swim. There’s still room to improve. I think both of my breakouts were still pretty bad.”

In eight hours, Dressel chopped more than a half-second off the world record in the shortest race in swimming. He won the 50 free final by 1.01 seconds over Olympic 4x100m free relay teammate Ryan Held.

In comparison, the difference between NCAA women’s 50 free winner Simone Manuel and 11th place was .96.

Dressel is .84 faster than anyone else in history in this event (second place is 50m and 100m freestyle world-record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil from his college days at Auburn), granted it’s not swum on the major international level.

Still, in comparison, the gap between the women’s 50-yard free record holder (Manuel) and the No. 63 woman on the all-time list is also .84, according to USA Swimming’s online records.

“I know probably everybody in the world of swimming expected 17.9, but I don’t really care about other people’s expectations,” Dressel said. “I want to set my own and put my own pressure on myself. I actually deleted all my social media, so I don’t know what people are saying. I don’t have a clue. It’s kind of nice actually, you guys should try it. I don’t have any apps on my phone. It’s very freeing.”

Dressel’s time drops in the last year have been astounding. At 2017 Worlds, he lowered his 100m free personal best from 47.91 (Rio Olympics) to 47.17. In the 100m butterfly, from 50.87 (2017 Nationals) to 49.86. In the 50m freestyle, from 21.53 (2017 Nationals) to 21.15.

“It’s not a shock. He’s incredible,” Lochte, who was in attendance in Minnesota, said on Thursday night, according to “He is the next ‘you name it.’ He is the face of swimming from now on.”

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