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Bobsleigh at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games:

Men's Four

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Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler
Date Started: February 26, 2010
Date Finished: February 27, 2010
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement. Only the best 20 teams contest the final run.

Gold: USA United States-1
Silver: GER Germany-1
Bronze: CAN Canada-1

Summary

The top performers of the 2009-2010 season had been the USA I crew piloted by Steve Holcomb and the German crew of André Lange. The Americans, 2009's world champions, arrived at Vancouver as World Cup winners having dominated the first half of the season whilst Lange had swept the last four races of the series. The Latvian crew who placed between the USA and Germany in the standings did not compete in Vancouver as driver Jānis Miņins had his appendix removed shortly before the Olympics began. Lyndon Rush driving Canada I, the only other victor of the year's World Cup besides Lange and Holcomb, was also expected to be a force to reckon with in his home country.

Arguments over the course came to the fore again as the Netherlands crew pulled out of the event prior to the start citing issues over safety after the van Calker brothers had withdrawn from the team due to a crisis of confidence whilst Australia were forced to withdraw as they had simply ran out of athletes fit enough to compete. Nevertheless the event went ahead, and was dominated by the United States I crew driven by Steve Holcomb, who had the fastest time on each of the first three runs. Lyndon Rush, driving the Canada I bobsleigh was in second in each of the first three runs, and the Germany I bobsleigh, driven by Two Man bobsleigh gold medallist André Lange, was third in each of the first three runs. However, on the last run, Germany I put in a tremendous time, the fastest of the run. This put pressure on the Canadian crew and, although theirs was the second fastest time, their combined time of 3:24.85 was just 0.01 seconds behind Lange's crew. Holcomb was only third fastest on the final run, but still maintained his overall lead to win by 0.38 seconds. Interestingly this was the first time Lange and his team mate Kevin Kuske had not won the gold medal when entering an Olympic bobsleigh event!

Holcomb's USA I bob was a distinctive sight in the bobsleigh world. With a distinctive jet black paint job the bob and crew had become known as the "Night Train" and had even cashed in with a range of merchandising based around this image. Their victory was the first by a male American crew since the long ago days of the first post-war Winter Games in 1948. Holcomb's victory was more remarkable as in 2007-08 he was having progressive loss of vision and was threatened with blindness due to a condition called keratoconus. It led him to contemplate suicide but a surgery restored his vision.

In addition to a large number of accidents during training five teams crashed during competition though thankfully no serious injuries were caused.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal T
1 United States-1 USA Gold 3:24.46
2 Germany-1 GER Silver 3:24.84
3 Canada-1 CAN Bronze 3:24.85
4 Germany-2 GER 3:25.58
5 Canada-2 CAN 3:25.60
6 Switzerland SUI 3:25.71
7 Germany-3 GER 3:26.06
8 Russia-3 RUS 3:26.13
9T Russia-1 RUS 3:26.25
9T Italy ITA 3:26.25
11 Latvia LAT 3:26.65
12 Czech Republic-1 CZE 3:26.98
13 United States-3 USA 3:27.32
14 Poland POL 3:28.53
15 Romania ROU 3:28.89
16 Czech Republic-2 CZE 3:29.13
17 Great Britain GBR 3:30.21
18 Serbia SRB 3:30.35
19 South Korea KOR 3:31.13
20 Croatia CRO 3:31.53
21 Japan JPN 2:38.78
AC Slovakia SVK DNF
AC Austria AUT DNF
AC Russia-2 RUS DNF
AC United States-2 USA DNF