For the first time in over 60 years, the Americans have come away with a two-man bobsled medal at the Winter Olympics.
Driver Steven Holcomb and brakeman Steven Langton entered today’s final two runs at Sanki Sliding Center in third position aboard USA-1, and they were able to hang on to that spot and claim the bronze medal.
Stanley Benham and Patrick Martin had won the last two-man medal for Team USA at the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo.
Going into the fourth and final run, Holcomb and Langton were .09 of a second up on Canada’s third sled (Justin Kripps/Bryan Barnett) for the bronze.
The reigning four-man Olympic champion and the former Northeastern University sprinter then threw down a 56.68-second final run to officially ensure their place on the podium.
Making the accomplishment more rewarding for Holcomb is that he did it on a strained left calf muscle. The injury occurred right at the start of yesterday’s second run, and it required treatment from team doctors overnight and into the morning.
“I let my horse here take over,” Holcomb said in a team release in reference to Langton. “We pushed harder than I expected, and going into that last heat, we knew we had to bring everything we had if we wanted to bring home a medal. There was a lot of pressure going into this.”
Russia’s top sled that features Aleksandr Zubkov and Alexei Voyevoda – a five-time World Cup champion in four-man and a world arm wrestling champion, respectively – won the gold by .66 of a second across four runs over the Swiss’ top sled (Beat Hefti/Alex Baumann).
It marks the fifth gold for Russia so far in Sochi.
MEN’S BOBSLED – TWO-MAN FINAL STANDINGS
Aggregate time across four runs
1. Russia-1 (Zubkov/Voyevoda), 3:45.39
2. Switzerland-1 (Hefti/Baumann), 3:46.05
3. USA-1 (Holcomb/Langton), 3:46.27
12. USA-2 (Cory Butner/Christopher Fogt), 3:47.19
13. USA-3 (Nick Cunningham/Dallas Robinson), 3:47.69