The U.S. Four-man Bobsled Team
It was a golden and historic ride on the Night Train.
World champion Steve Holcomb piloted his four-man bobsled, called Night Train, to a first-place finish Saturday at the Winter Olympics, winning the United States' first gold in the event in 62 years.
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Four-time defending champion Germany, piloted by four-time Olympic gold medalist Andre Lange, won the silver, and Canada earned the bronze. Lange had never lost an Olympic bobsled race in either the two-man or four-man events until now.
Holcomb and his sledmates — Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz — looked strong from the start of the four-run event when they set track records on their first two runs Friday down the blistering fast course at the Whistler Sliding Center. Their fourth run was the third-fastest, but they had built enough of a cushion to lock up the win.
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The team's gold was the United States' 36th medal of the games, tying Germany's 2002 haul for the most ever by a country at a Winter Olympics. With a medal assured in the men's hockey final against Canada, the U.S. is poised to break the mark.
The U.S. leads in the overall medal count, but its nine golds trail Canada's record-tying 13 — a haul also reached by the Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002. The host country added three golds Saturday, including one in the men's speedskating team pursuit. Canada edged the United States by 21-hundredths of a second in the race, giving American Chad Hedrick a silver in the final race of his career. It's Hedrick's fifth medal in five different distances, matching Eric Heiden for the most medals by an American man in long track.
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Other winners included Italy's Giuliano Razzoli in the men's slalom, Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk in the women's cross-country 30-kilmometer mass start and Germany in the women's speed skating team pursuit.