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

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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