Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah
Date Started: February 22, 2002
Date Finished: February 23, 2002
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
Germany’s [Christophe Langen] arrived in Utah as holder of both the Olympic title from Nagano and as the reigning FIBT World Champion. His compatriot [André Lange], who would pilot Germany II at the Winter Games, was the 2000-01 World Cup winner and had already fought off fierce competition just to make the German team. Also expected to show at Park City were the Swiss and Latvian crews. American hopes, their strongest in decades, were in the hands of Texan [Todd Hays] who had shown consistent speed over the preceding World Cup races.
After a dramatic first day Hays’ USA I held an advantage over the field of a tenth of a second and hopes were high of a first US victory in this event since 1948. Germany I pulled out before the start of the third run after Langen had suffered a foot injury and was unable to continue but the strength of German bobsledding was not to be denied. Andre Lange, piloting Germany II put in a blistering third run which was to prove decisive in their challenge for the Olympic title. Switzerland I had also overhauled USA I during the course of the third run but the margin between the two teams was not yet decisive at just 0.02 of a second. With Germany II safe in the gold medal position the attention shifted to the other medal positions. Brian Shimer and USA II had moved steadily up the leader board into fourth position and, with track conditions deteriorating on the final run, he set the early benchmark time. USA I could not match their team-mates time but had just enough time in hand to hold on to their positions. The same was not true of the Swiss and Martin Annen’s sled dropped from second to fourth which confirmed a shock medal for the second USA sled and the fact that two American crews would reach the podium for the first time since 1932.
|25||Serbia and Montenegro||SCG||3:15.55|
|AC||United States Virgin Islands||ISV||DNF|