Update, 2019: The International Olympic Committee has upgraded Holcomb and Fogt’s bronze medals to silver after removing the gold medal from the Russian team.
As teenagers, they received red, white and blue Eagle Scout medals.
This morning, clad in the red, white and blue of Team USA, Steven Holcomb and Chris Fogt got bronze Olympic ones.
The Eagle Scouts were two of the four members of the USA-1 “Night Train 2” team, which also included Curt Tomasevicz and Steve Langton.
What always fascinates me about Olympic sports is the margins separating medal winners and also-rans. The USA-1 team finished just 0.39 seconds behind the gold-medal-winning Russia-1 sled. That’s a length of time gone faster than you can say “physically strong.”
Even closer was the gap between third and fourth place. USA-1 (3:40.99) edged out Russia-2 (3:41.02) by three one-hundredths of a second. Wow. And remember that those times are the sum of four runs down the track.
Holcomb, who won bronze in the two-man bobsled last week, is the first American to win two bobsled medals at a Winter Olympics since 1952. And with three total bobsled medals (he won four-man gold in Vancouver), Holcomb now is tied with Patrick Martin for the most in Team USA history.
Still, as you’d expect with any competitor, Holcomb wished for more.
“We wanted gold,” he told the Associated Press. “But we’re not complaining about bronze.”
Eagle Scout and Army captain gets first medal
Meanwhile, fellow Eagle Scout Fogt got the first Olympic medal of his career. He competed in Vancouver, but his USA-2 sled crashed and finished in last place. After that disappointing finish, the Army captain served a yearlong tour in Iraq.
This morning the roller-coaster ride continued. He told ESPN what it all meant.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “We crossed the line, and I was overwhelmed with emotion … just like I am now. This means a lot for me and my family, for the military and everyone. I’m very excited that I could win something for them.”
Like any Eagle Scout, Fogt is loyal, in this case to his nation’s military. And so in May, Fogt said he will report back to the Army for active duty. And he’ll bring his Olympic medal with him, he told ESPN.
“I’m taking that thing everywhere,” he said. “I’m going to wear it in the shower. I’m going to wear it to sleep.”
Congratulations to these two outstanding Eagle Scouts for making their country and Scouting proud. You guys rock!
Watch a replay
See Runs 3 and 4 of USA-1 at this link.
Photo via Team USA Twitter and USA Bobsled and Skeleton Facebook