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 He’s been replaced by Steve Langton, a part of the USA-2 sled in Vancouver.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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David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds