U.S. bobsleigh driver Holcomb awarded posthumous Olympic silver medals
The upgrades from bronze to silver, in the two-man and four-man events, enhances Holcomb's legacy as the most decorated U.S. bobsledder in history.
The American, who passed away unexpectedly in 2017 aged 37, earns the medals along with team mates Steven Langton, Chris Fogt, and Curt Tomasevicz, as the International Olympic Committee confirmed the new medal allocation.
Russia had won the two gold medals, but Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda, who competed in from both bobs, were disqualified for doping offences and their appeals have been exhausted.
The medal re-allocation means that Switzerland and Latvia have been advanced from silver to gold in the two-man and four-man events respectively.
Latvia also receive bronze in the two-man race, as do Great Britain in the four-man competition.
The medals will be presented to the athletes and Holcomb's family in a ceremony with details to be announced.
The emotional five-year wait for USA Bobsled to receive Sochi silver
The emotional five-year wait for USA Bobsled to receive Sochi silverAfter finishing 3rd at Sochi 2014, the United States two-man and four-man bobsleigh teams finally received their upgraded silver medals following disqualifications due to doping. The parents of late driver Steven Holcomb, who passed away in 2017, accepted his medals on his behalf.
Holcomb was a five-time World champion, and piloted both U.S. teams as they originally finished third in the two competitions at the Sochi Olympics.
He was also part of the four-man 'Night Train' sled who won gold at Vancouver 2010, Team USA's first Olympic title in the event since 1948.
In May 2017 Holcomb was found dead in his room at the USA Olympic training centre in Lake Placid.
"This result appropriately bolsters Holcomb’s legacy as one of the very best athletes to ever drive a bobsled" - Fogt, Langton and Tomasevicz said in a joint statement - "Being the fierce competitor and advocate for clean sport that that he was, he would be smiling knowing that we’re one step closer to a fair playing field".
"Though they should have received their silver medals together on the podium in 2014, we still celebrate their hard-fought achievements today" US Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland commented.
"We also send our respects to Steven's family, along with our profound sadness that Steven cannot be with us to receive his silver medals" - she added - "Steven was an athlete with incredible work ethic, kindness and integrity. He was an ambassador for his sport, for Team USA and for our country. He will forever be remembered as a legend and an inspiration, and his legacy and example will live on always".
Holcomb pilots USA four-man bobsleigh team to bronze medal | Sochi 2014
Holcomb pilots USA four-man bobsleigh team to bronze medal | Sochi 2014At the 2014 Winter Games, USA claimed the third place. Russia won the gold and Latvia won the silver.
First gold for Latvia
Latvia were awarded their first ever gold in the Winter Olympics in the four-man bob (Oskars Melbardis, Arvis Vilkaste, Daumants Dreiskens and Janis Strenga).
Mekbardus and Dreiskens were also promoted to bronze in the two-man,
Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann were upgraded to the gold medal in the two-man event, while Britain's team moved up from fourth to the podium in the four-man.