Steven Holcomb’s mother honors son, teammates with speech after accepting Olympic silver medals

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Steven Holcomb‘s teammates and his family were honored in a medal reallocation ceremony at the Team USA Awards last month, after being upgraded to Sochi Olympic silver medals after the disqualifications of Russian sleds due to doping.

Holcomb, who in 2010 drove the first U.S. bobsled to Olympic gold in 62 years, died in his sleep in May 2017 at age 37.

In 2014, Holcomb and Steven Langton rode to two-man bronze. Holcomb, Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt teamed for four-man bronze. The Russian sleds that originally finished first were later disqualified for doping and the results adjusted.

Holcomb’s mother, Jean Schaefer, capped the ceremony with a speech in front of a room of Olympians and Paralympians. The full transcript from her speech at the awards show, which aired on NBC on Sunday:

I am honored to be the voice of Steven tonight. I tried to imagine what Steven would say and what he would be feeling. I think Steven would be feeling extreme excitement and pride — silver medals for his team and for his country. The reward of dedication and just plain hard work. A sense of satisfaction to be recognized as competitors with integrity. A deep gratitude to his teammates, Chris, Steve, Curt, with whom he shares this honor. Gratitude. Gratitude to the team behind the team, the USOPC. Gratitude to the Bo-Dyn project, who first recognized there is a need for a competitive bobsled. Gratitude to [former U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton CEO] Darrin Steele for his leadership and his support. Gratitude to Coach Brian Shimer, who is so much more to Steven than just a coach. He’s a true friend. And, finally, gratitude to [U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Marketing and Communications Director] Amanda Bird, who always kept his family up to date. Finally, I’d like to share with you: these are the flowers from the medal ceremony in Sochi. They were carefully packed in a silver shoe box — yes, silver — to journey all the way from Russia to Steven’s mom in Colorado. They say so much about Steven Holcomb as a man. He was thoughtful, dedicated, kind. A man who had a passion for the bobsled. We love you, Steven, and we miss you. Thank you.

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2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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