Congrats to Steven Holcomb, DVU student – Second medal in Bobsled!
What a finish! Another round of congratulations go out to Steven Holcomb for a bronze medal in Bobsled Men’s 4 man, adding to his win earlier this week at Bobsled Men’s 2 man. Holcomb is the first American pilot to win medals in both Olympic races in 62 years.
Olympian Steven Holcomb was always focused on becoming an athlete. As a teen, Holcomb was an avid alpine skier. Though he admits he was “better than most,” Holcomb didn’t feel that he had the potential to be the best in the sport. In 1998, several months after he graduated from high school, Holcomb decided to switch paths and tryout for the US National Bobsled team. He made the team, and within a year, Holcomb competed in his first World Cup event.
In 2002, following a smooth transition into the sport, Holcomb received devastating news; he was diagnosed with Keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease. The disease affected his career and personal life so severely that he considered retiring from bobsledding. “I went from having 20/20 to 20/500 vision in a matter of years,” Holcomb recounts. “I was basically driving the sled by feel – not by sight.”
With no FDA-approved options available to treat Keratoconus, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF) paid for Holcomb to undergo a non-FDA-approved eye procedure that had the potential to fully restore his eyesight. Holcomb took the risk and was cured of disease that had haunted him for years. Months later, Holcomb led the US bobsled team to the World Championship title. With this momentum, he and his team went on to take the gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the first time the US bobsled team had done so since 1948.
Today, Holcomb continues to compete full-time. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at DeVry University. Holcomb offers this advice for other students who are trying to achieve their goals: “I believe everyone has the ability to push stronger, higher and faster. If you believe in yourself, you can reach your goals.”
Photo credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Sports/Getty Images