Friends and members of the sports community are stunned and saddened by the sudden death of three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb, who died today in Lake Placid, N.Y., at Team USA’s training center. He was 37.
The United States Olympic Committee confirmed today in a statement that the bobsled pilot was found in his room, but the cause of death remains unclear. According to the Associated Press, officials said there are “no immediate indications of foul play,” adding, “an autopsy was tentatively scheduled for Sunday.”
“The entire Olympic family is shocked and saddened by the incredibly tragic loss today of Steven Holcomb,” said Scott Blackmun, United States Olympic Committee CEO. “Steve was a tremendous athlete and even better person, and his perseverance and achievements were an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s family and the entire bobsledding community.”
The bobsled pilot earned gold for Team USA at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and earned bronze medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled categories at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Ahead of his victories, Holcomb suffered from keratoconus, a degenerative disease that affected his vision and can lead to blindness, but his eyesight was saved after surgery. He detailed his health woes in his 2013 memoir, “But Now I See: My Journey from Blindness to Olympic Gold.”
Holcomb was expected to participate in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, AP reported. In fact, last month he shared images from an NBC Olympics photo shoot wearing his Under Armour-branded uniform.
“Look a lot of pics the other day at the @NBCOlympics photo/media shoot. Thought this one was cool. I’ll you be the judge. @UnderArmour,” he shared on April 29.
The sportswear brand led the many tributes that poured in on social media.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Steven Holcomb’s family, friends and teammates,” said a statement on Under Armour’s Facebook page. “Steven had an amazing spirit that defied the odds and inspired everyone around him. We will continue to celebrate Steven’s legacy as an athlete and as a person. He will be greatly missed.”
The Park City, Utah, native was remembered by the state’s governor, Gary Herbert, who shared a photo of himself with the athlete, tweeting, “Today, Utah Olympian Steven Holcomb passed away. Jeanette and I send our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
The United States Luge Association (USLA) tweeted, “All sliders loved Steve Holcomb like a brother. We are saddened by the sudden loss, but regale in the person he was & his achievements. RIP.”
“Team USA mourns the loss of Olympic champion bobsledder Steven Holcomb,” wrote the official account of the U.S. Olympic Committee.