Coroner: Cause of bobsledder Steven Holcomb’s death unclear

Steven Holcomb
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The cause of U.S. Olympic bobsledder Steven Holcomb‘s death will remain unclear until more tests are completed.

An autopsy performed at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, New York, showed that the 37-year-old Holcomb died with fluid in his lungs, Essex County coroner Francis Whitelaw said Sunday. However, that alone was not enough to draw a conclusion as to why Holcomb died – and no determination will come until toxicology tests are completed.

That process can typically take several weeks.

Whitelaw said preliminary toxicology results did not show drugs in Holcomb’s system. Whitelaw also said there is “no suspicion of foul play,” concurring with what USA Bobsled and Skeleton and the U.S. Olympic Committee said shortly after Holcomb’s body was discovered Saturday afternoon in his room at the Olympic Training Center – where many athletes reside when they are training or competing in Lake Placid.

Holcomb was a three-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist, including a four-man gold medal from the 2010 Vancouver Games.

“The world has lost a true national hero, an example to young and old alike about overcoming diversity and a true gentlemen as well as an all-around great man,” former USA Bobsled and Skeleton board member Howard Lowry said in a tribute letter to Holcomb’s family and friends. “Steven’s shoes will forever be too large to fill by those that come after him.”

MORE: Olympians mourn the death of Steven Holcomb

Team officials believe Holcomb died in his sleep.

The grieving process for Holcomb’s friends and family was just getting started Sunday. His parents arrived in Lake Placid from their homes in Colorado and Utah, and some bobsledders and team officials are expected to be there in the coming days.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been revealed. Plans are also underway for memorial services to be held in the coming weeks in both Lake Placid and Holcomb’s hometown of Park City, Utah.

Tributes continued pouring in Sunday from across the Olympic sports world, with American figure skating legend Kristi Yamaguchi, longtime U.S. beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings, British skeleton standout Shelley Rudman and German luge great Felix Loch among those tweeting messages of sorrow and remembrance.

At Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega, Alabama someone scrawled “RIP Steven” on the track as a tribute to Holcomb, who was a big racing fan.

“We’ve lost a legend,” said USA Luge’s Erin Hamlin – who, like Holcomb, is a world champion and Olympic medalist.

Holcomb’s success on the sliding tracks across the world was obvious. But he was more revered within the sliding world for his persona off the track; International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation President Ivo Ferriani said he would remember Holcomb for the “politeness and respect” that he showed everyone who was associated with the sport.

“Very sad to hear the terrible news about Steven Holcomb,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said. “He was already a sporting legend. He was hugely appreciated by his fellow competitors and everybody in Olympic sport.”

WATCH: Steven Holcomb ends U.S. Olympic bobsled drought

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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