Steven Holcomb & Co. earn 4-man bronze for U.S.; Russia wins one more gold

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The U.S. women got two bobsled medals at the Sochi Olympics, and today, the U.S. men followed suit.

After taking bronze for the first two-man medal for the U.S. since 1952, driver Steven Holcomb and his “Night Train 2” teammates – Steven Langton, Chris Fogt, and Curt Tomasevicz – brought home another bronze in the four-man this morning.

With that, Holcomb and his two-man partner Langton have not only become the lone Americans to win multiple individual medals in Sochi, but also the first two U.S. bobsledders to medal twice in a single Winter Games since 1952 (Stanley Benham/Patrick Martin).

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are the other Americans with multiple medals in Sochi thanks to their individual gold in ice dancing and a bronze in the team figure skating competition.

The four-man bronze also cements the U.S. sliders as the most decorated of the Sochi Games with seven medals.

While the American bobsled, skeleton and luge competitors did not earn any golds, they got two silvers (Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams – women’s bobsled; Noelle Pikus-Pace – skeleton) and five bronzes (Holcomb/Langton – two-man; Holcomb/Langton/Fogt/Tomasevicz – four-man; Jamie Greubel/Aja Evans – women’s bobsled; Matt Antoine – skeleton; Erin Hamlin – luge).

MORE: Russia wins Sochi medal count after sweeping men’s mass start

Up front, the Russians added one more gold medal as Alexander Zubkov became the sixth bobsled driver in Olympic history to win the two-man and four-man at a single Winter Olympics and the first since Germany’s Andre Lange pulled it off at Torino in 2006.

With that, Russia earned its 13th gold in Sochi and capped its final overall medal count at 33.

Zubkov and his RUS-1 team won out by .09 of a second over the Latvians, who claimed their first-ever Olympic medal in bobsled with Oskars Melbardis at the controls.

MEN’S BOBSLED – FOUR-MAN FINAL STANDINGS
(Aggregate time across four runs)
1. RUS-1 (Zubkov/Voyevoda/Trunenkov/Negodaylo), 3:40.60

2. LAT-1 (Melbardis/Vilkaste/Dreiskens/Strenga), 3:40.69
3. USA-1 (Holcomb/Langton/Fogt/Tomasevicz), 3:40.99

12. USA-2 (Cunningham/Quinn/Olsen/Robinson), 3:42.70

Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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MORE: Ledecky, Manuel welcome Olympic decision after training in backyard pool

Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement