Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Sliding Center Sanki, Rzhanaya Polyana
Date Started: February 22, 2014
Date Finished: February 23, 2014
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement. Only the best 20 teams contest the final run.
The early part of the 2013-14 World Cup season had been a triumph for the “Night Train”, the US #1 sled piloted by reigning Olympic champion Steve Holcomb but, as the circuit decamped to Europe after the Christmas and New Year break, the European sleds matched and exceeded the performances of the Americans and both Latvian and German sleds recorded victories.
Although the Russians had been having a consistent rather than spectacular season, the prevailing suspicion was that they would be the team to beat at Sochi after having seemingly sacrificed results at the World Cup in favour of preparation on the Olympic track.
Aleksandr Zubkov and the Russia #1 sled lived up to their billing by leading from start to finish although they were pressured on the final run by the Latvian crew who recovered from a mediocre first run to come within a tenth of a second of the title. Holcomb’s US sled added a bronze to the gold he had won in Vancouver as he finished just .03 ahead of the 2nd Russian crew in a result that matched that of the two-man event in Sochi. Hampered by design problems, Maximilian Arndt’s World Champion German crew could finish no better than sixth.