Athletes · Bobsled · Olympians

Death Reels Bobsled World

This spring, USA Bobsled & Skeleton has been reeling from the unexpected death of Olympian Steven Holcomb, who passed away on May 6. Yesterday, the organization announced, “The toxicology results indicate Holcomb had a fatal combination of the prescription sleep aid Eszopiclone/Zopiclone (Lunesta) in his system as well as a .18% blood alcohol concentration.” The coroner’s report also found evidence of pulmonary congestion.

Holcomb was 37, and at the time of death, he was in Lake Placid, NY, for training. He’d been prepping for the 2018 Olympics, including doing some promotional shoots for NBC.

Although he battled keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease, he learned how to drive a bobsled based on feel. The disease nearly took his sight, but he had a surgery called C3-R that restored it to nearly perfect.

Holcomb piloted bobsleds in three Olympics: Torino, Vancouver and Sochi. Driving the infamous “Night Train” in Vancouver, he led the team to the U.S.’ first gold medal in the event in 62 years. Four years later, he won bronze in both the two- and four-man bobsled–the two-man was the first American medal in the sport since 1952.

Here’s a look at the Night Train’s gold medal moment:

A memorial fund’s been set up in Holcomb’s honor. The family will distribute the money to keratoconus patients and elite athletes who need financial support.

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