Holcomb, Langton earn bronze, first U.S. medal in two-man bobsled since ’52

Leave a comment

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.

VIDEO: Watch Team USA’s bronze-medal run

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.

MORE: Allergies, fatigue take Svindal out of Sochi Olympics

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

Gracie Gold qualifies for nationals, Polina Edmunds shut out

NBC Sports Gold
Leave a comment

2014 Olympian Gracie Gold qualified for the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships by virtue of a third-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final on Saturday in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“Bronze: so hot this fall,” Gold posted on Instagram. She last competed at U.S. nationals in 2017, when she finished sixth. She won the national title in 2014 and 2016.

Gold sat second after the short program with 63.55 points, and ultimately finished third overall with 109.90 points in the free skate for 173.45 points. The top four at the event qualify for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina in January.

Her free skate included a fall on the opening triple Lutz and an under-rotation on the triple Lutz, double toe loop combination. She also put a hand down on the landing of a double Axel. The rest of the program, though, was clean.

Her performance, set to “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, can be found at the 2:05 mark of the on-demand stream of the event for NBC Gold Pass subscribers.

Meanwhile, her Sochi teammate Polina Edmunds was shut out of nationals based on a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Sectional Singles Final (top four qualify). Her performance can be found for NBC Gold Pass subscribers at the 1:50 mark of the on-demand stream for the event. Edmunds last competed at Nationals in 2016, when she earned the silver medal behind Gold.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Alexandra Trusova qualifies for Grand Prix Final after win at Rostelecom Cup

View this post on Instagram

Bronze: so hot this fall 🥉

A post shared by Gracie Gold (@graciegold95) on

Brittany Bowe extends unbeaten streak to open speed skating World Cup

Leave a comment

Brittany Bowe extended one of the most dominant runs for any U.S. Winter Olympian, earning her first straight World Cup 1000m win to open the season on Sunday.

Bowe, fourth and eighth in the event at her two Olympics, clocked 1:15.35 in Minsk, Belarus, to beat PyeongChang gold medalist Jorien ter Mors by six tenths. Ter Mors missed all of last season after knee surgery.

Bowe won every World Cup 1000m dating to last December, plus her second world title in the event last February, lowering track records at each stop.

She ended last season by breaking the world record by .48 of a second on the fast ice of the 2002 Olympic oval in Kearns, Utah. That time — 1:11.61 — would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1997.

Bowe, a former Florida Atlantic point guard who missed all of 2016-17 with a concussion, is up to 23 career World Cup wins. That’s fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Heather Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.

The World Cup moves to Poland next week.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Fastest female speed skater in history retires