Lake Placid - It would be easy to define Steven Holcomb by his long list of bobsledding accolades — his three Olympic medals and the 62-year four-man medal drought he broke by winning gold for the United States, his five World Championship titles or his 60 World Cup medals. But to really know Steven was to know that there was so much more to the man than just the athlete.
Originally from Park City, Utah, a city in which he would find an early passion for ski racing, Steven was, first and foremost, a teammate and friend to those around him. His quiet confidence was complemented by genuine humbleness, unwavering focus and, most prominently, a down-to-earth personality and sense of humor that was constant no matter who he was interacting with. A tribute to Steven's easygoing nature, a former teammate recalled his ability to stop in the middle of warm ups and perform his famous 'Holcy Shuffle' upon hearing it sung from the other side of the track. No matter his race result, he would take time at every finish dock to high-five fans, sign autographs and make sure he did everything in his power to grow the sport's following.
Steven was also a fighter. He overcame the degenerative eye disease keratoconus — which nearly blinded him and forced him into retirement before the 2009 World Championships in Lake Placid — instead going on to win his first World Championship gold medal and becoming an
inspiration for others affected by the disease. The three-time Olympian fought on a race-to-race basis too — you could never count Steven out of a race. Instead, his times would defy physics as he expertly guided his sled through lines no other pilot could find, stunning his competition and more often than not, resulting in a podium finish.
Beyond bobsled, Steven was working toward his degree in Computer Science from DeVry University and found a job repairing computers for the United States Olympic Committee. His passion for computer science fed into his love for video games, particularly the XBox, which he was known for at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, his home for 18 years.
Steven was taken too soon, and his legacy will live on in his family, friends and teammates. His loss will be felt for years to come in not only the bobsled and skiing worlds, but also in each community that was lucky enough to get to know him. Steven is survived by his mother, Jean Anne, father Steve, sisters Stephanie and Megan, niece and nephews Sten, Aidan, Fritz, Raife, Annabelle, Xander, and MaxJack, grandfather Granjack. aunts and uncles Jill, Jackie, John and Lisa, and Kathy, and his eight cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to USA Bobsled & Skeleton, where they will be distributed to keratoconus patients and elite athletes in need of financial support. There will be additional services for Steven in Park City the weekend of June 10 and 11.
The M. B. Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid, NY is in charge of arrangements.
Relatives and friends are invited to share a memory or story, upload a photograph, order flowers or leave condolences at www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com