Steven Holcomb was ordinary and remarkable. America's best bobsled pilot was a self-described computer geek who rubbed elbows with Hollywood stars. He was never exactly in the best shape, yet was a world-class athlete. He attempted suicide years ago, then revealed his story in hope of helping others. He nearly went blind, then won gold. His life was the epitome of a bobsled race, reports the AP, filled with twists and turns. It came to a most unexpected end Saturday in Lake Placid, NY, when he was found dead in his room at the Olympic Training Center—sending shock waves through the US Olympic community. The three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champ was 37. "The only reason why the USA is in any conversation in ... bobsled is because of Steve Holcomb," said pilot Nick Cunningham, who roomed next to Holcomb in Lake Placid. "He was the face of our sport. Every driver in the world watched him, because he was that good at what he did."
No cause of death was immediately announced. However, there were no indications of foul play and USA Bobsled said it was believed Holcomb died in his sleep. An autopsy is set for Sunday. Holcomb's signature moment came at the 2010 Vancouver Games when he piloted his four-man sled to a win that snapped a 62-year gold-medal drought for the US. Holcomb also drove to bronze medals in both two- and four-man events at the 2014 Sochi Games, and was to be part of the 2018 Olympic team. "Steve was a tremendous athlete and even better person," US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said. Holcomb was cherubic, almost always happy in public, and teammates spent a season chronicling his "Holcy Dance," a less-than-rhythmic shuffle. His agent tells USA Today he recently spent a week with him. "Everything was cool," he said. "He told me with the world championships being in Whistler in 2019, that would be his swan song." (Holcomb once took Lolo Jones to task.)