Steve Holcomb, is an athlete who is very popular for his skills as a bobsledder and with numerous medals to show for it. He became pivotal in helping his country win a gold medal after 62 years of anticipation. With such an impressive mark on the sands of time, the legendary athlete still had skeletons in his cupboard which he had to struggle with. His troubles started with an eye defect and depression and though his eye came back to normal, the American bobsledder still had to battle depression which took the best of him.
Steve Holcomb – Bio
Steve Holcomb was an athletic icon in America, born on April 14, 1980, in Park City, located in Utah. He had a brave mother who got him exposed to skiing from a rather young age of 2 and took him skiing so often that at age six, he had advanced to skiing at public places, as well as at resorts. At this stage, he had grown in his love for sports and in addition to skiing, he engaged in other forms of sports like basketball, baseball, football and more.
At age 8, Steve Holcomb played in home league Bobsled team and though he wasn’t outstanding, he was able to record some points that earned him a spot to compete in the National Push Championship. Holcomb gave an impressive performance during his training sessions with the national team but he was eventually dropped, not because he wasn’t skilled, but as a result of his tender age and miniature stature.
It is also interesting to know that in spite of Steve Holcomb’s interest and busy schedule in sports, he managed to complete his high school at The Winter Sports School in Park City, Utah, and later proceeded to the University of Utah after which he joined the Utah Army National Guard in March 1999 which came as an unexpected drift from his sports-line.
Holcomb was enlisted to serve as a Combat Engineer but of course, his love for sports still caught up with him as he joined their athletic team and competed in the U.S Army World Class Athlete Program. His service in the army rounded off in July 2006, which was seven-years of active service and he earned an honorable discharge. Moreso, he received numerous awards when he was in the army such as Good Conduct Awards, Army Achievement Medals, among many others.
So, back to his life as a sportsman, Steve Holcomb is known to have competed at the world cup and his team which comprised of a two-man and four-man bobsledder, landed gold, silver and bronze medals. His four-man team also made history as the first set of four-man bobsledder to win the world championship since 1959.
In 2004, he took the 2nd and 3rd position in the ranking of American Drivers which was followed by several other medals he landed, including the Two-Man World Cup Title which he won as the first American that has ever won the title. Moreso, Steve Holcomb also played a pivotal role in helping his country win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics which marked the first gold medal the United States has received after a long 62 years in the competition.
Health Challenges: What Happened To Him?
Amidst the joys of his victory, Holcomb discovered he was developing an eye defect; he was later on diagnosed with Keratoconus. It didn’t take long before he became overwhelmed by the eye disease and then came depression.
However, Steve Holcomb kept the disease to himself. He feared his dream of becoming a champion in his career would be cut short once his team members or coach found out about his impaired vision. As blindness kept approaching, he learned how to coordinate races with the use of other senses and well, it did the magic, at least for a while but soon, he was left with no choice than to let the cat out of the bag.
He confided in his coach who linked him with expert doctors in the area and in 2007, a minor surgery, a C3-R was carried out on his eyes. The next year, the doctors fixed-in a pair of corrective lenses. With the insertions, Steve Holcomb was able to compete in the 2007/2008 Olympic tournament. It is worth knowing that the C3-R surgical procedure was rebranded as ‘Holcomb C3-R’ in tribute to him and for the first time in history, an athlete’s name was being used to name a medical procedure.
Cause Of Death
Well, the eye disease was cured, the super talented athlete was back to his feet and one would feel everything was back to normal, but no! the depression didn’t go away. It became a heavy burden on him. Steve Holcomb won several other medals after the eye drama, but for no known reason, the depression lingered.
Unfortunately, on May 6, 2017, Steve Holcomb was found dead in bed and it was reported that a high level of alcohol and a sleeping pill called Lunesta were discovered in his system. They also found a high level of fluids in his lungs which was ruled as a contributing factor.
His family wanted the cause of his death to be kept a secret, so, detailed information was not released in that regard. However, sources have it that Holcomb left behind details of the weight of depression that he had to fight for several years and how he had tried before to commit suicide.