By Jean DePlacido
---- — The long drought is over for the USA.
Driver Steve Holcomb and brakeman Steve Langton — the latter a former St. John’s Prep track star — took the bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, yesterday in the two-man bobsled event. It marked the first time in 62 years that an American team medaled in this event.
“Tonight I lived my dream,” tweeted Langton. “Thank you to everyone who has supported and believed. This incredible journey would not have been possible without you.”
After the first two runs on the Sanki Ice Center course Sunday, Holcomb and Langton (USA 1) were in third place and able to maintain that position yesterday in the last two runs on a foggy, damp night.
Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda of Russia won gold with a combined time on the four runs of 3:45.31 and set a track record on the third run. The Swiss team of driver Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann took silver in 3:46.05, while USA 1 was third in 3:46.27, holding off the second Russian sled by 0.03 of a second (3:46.30).
Holcomb, who won gold in Vancouver four years ago in the four-man bobsled, will be back in action and favored to win gold with Langton and fellow USA teammates Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz Saturday and Sunday in one of the final events of the Games.
“What Holcomb has done is unbelievable for the sport,” USA 3 pilot Nick Cunningham told reporters. “He’s put USA bobsled on the international map.”
Holcomb has called Langton, a Melrose native, the best push man in the world.
The United States now has won four sliding medals at the 2014 Olympics after combining for three total between men and women at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2010 Games in Vancouver.