I wanted to get this out a few weeks back after the FIBT World Cup tour stop in Park City, but honestly have just had no time. At the same time, knowing client Steven Holcomb's schedule before that event and then afterwards I thought to illustrate how much of a whirlwind his life is during this Olympic campaign
Steven has recently concluded the first half of the season in the lead up to Sochi and had a tremendously successful start. A start that honestly was not on folks radar at the level he put up. In fact, it has never been done in the history of the sport. But his on track success while tremendous is accompanied with a dizzying schedule.
Here is a sample of this since just prior to the World Cup season beginning.
Fly to Germany (2 day stay)
Fly to Sochi
Have International Training Week at the Bobsled track (he went with some developmental athletes and left his push team in North America to train, this was a driving week)
Fly to Germany (1/2 day layover)
Fly to Calgary via Chicago
World Cup season begins in Calgary (6 days in CGY) 3 practice days, meet up with his team race on the weekend. Have a chance during this week in Calgary to catch up with Tessa Bonhomme (an Olympic gold medalist from Canada who is in town) who he met in London at the Summer Olympics. Normally on the road you only see the other bobsled and skeleton athletes, so this is a nice one for him in a foreign country.
WIN in 1st race ever in the latest prototype of the BMW 2-man Bobsled, WIN in 1st race ever in the 2nd version of the Night Train Squared. After medal ceremonies, go and pack up the sleds to prep them and get them ready to go to Park City. Clean up the house, pack and prepare to get on flights the next morning.
Fly to Salt Lake City via San Francisco then drive to Park City
World Cup 2 in Park City (6 days in PC) 3 practice days, have a lot of US media and sponsor obligations for the USBSF and personal, training is canceled one day due to bad ice conditions, family in town and races on Friday and Saturday. WIN in the BMW 2-man and WIN in the Night Train Squared on your hometown track.
On Saturday after the win, Steven has to still go to medal ceremonies, USADA for drug testing, pack sleds, go to a USBSF Lululemon event, see his family, clean the house with his teammates, pack and then get to airport first thing in the morning. Steven falls asleep on the couch at 1030 pm.
Fly to Chicago (get delayed for 8 hours), then fly to Albany, then drive on bus to Lake Placid (normally this takes 2+ hours, it took almost 4 due to bad road conditions)
Pull into US Olympic Training Center - Lake Placid (OTC) at nearly 6 am EST then go to bed, training would be delayed because the bobsleds had not arrived yet from Park City. Have training 2 practice days and then have two 2-man races as well as another 4-man race. WIN in the BMW 2-man day 1, WIN in the BMW 2-man day 2 and win in the Night Train Squared on day 3.
Wrap the first half of the bobsled season 7 for 7, but the party doesn't begin because you have to prep the sleds before they are put in the crates before everything goes to Europe. For Steven this night did not end at the track until 11 pm and to see everyone at Zig Zags before all goes off for the holidays.
Dec 16 Monday - DeVry University commercial shoot at 8 am (goes until 4pm)
Home to start doing 3 weeks worth of laundry. No time to go out with DeVry because he has so much to catch up on before he leaves on Wednesday morning.
Dec 17 Tuesday - DeVry University commercial shoot at 8 am (goes until 430 pm)
Begin to pack up for a 3 month road trip and clean up his athlete residence at OTC Lake Placid.
Dec 18 Wednesday - Leave OTC at 4 am, get a ride from a developmental athlete to Albany for a 715 flight to Baltimore via Philadelphia. Get picked up by town car and go to a commercial shoot for UnderArmour immediately. Shoot this from 11 am - 5 pm. Get his workout in at UnderArmour, go to the hotel and eat with some UA staff.
Dec 19 Thursday - Take the train to NYC (AMTRAK announces the wrong track & he gets on the wrong train), this delays his arrival to NYC to go to a BMW Press Junket. Be with the media until 6 pm. Go to the hotel and take care of a few more interviews, get dinner and go to bed.
Dec 20 Friday - Take car to NBC and appear on the TODAY SHOW at 836 am. Have additional interviews with NBC Nightly News to air later and NBC Sports Network / Yahoo! Sports - Sports Dash at 1045 am. Go to LGA and then head to ORD. Get picked up and head to hotel. Go get his workout in and an additional media interview with the Chicago Tribune.
Four different beds in four different days
Dec 21 Saturday - Wedding
Dec 22 Sunday - Day off, but still has his workout to get in
Dec 23 Monday - Fly ORD to COS and be picked up by Yahoo! Sports (at 11:15am) who is doing a long form feature on Steven. They take him home, to OTC for his workout and to capture it behind the scenes with him and then interview him, his mom, his sister and nephews at the house. Yahoo departs at 730pm
Dec 24 Tuesday - COS Home
Dec 25 Wednesday - COS Home and at sister's house
Dec 26 Thursday - COS Interview with Deseret News at 9 am, HOPE AND PRAY FedEx delivers his new Olympic helmets at 1030 am like what has been paid for to happen. LAST FULL DAY in the United States until March.
Dec 27 Friday - COS to gateway city and then depart for Munich to pickup his BMW 7 Series courtesy of BMW Germany for the second half of the season that was reserved in March of 2013.
As you can see, there is no rest for the weary, you can celebrate your season in March. In Steven's case their will be light reflection on what he has done, because in his mind he has one goal and that is to not only defend his Gold in 4-man, but to capture an elusive medal in 2-man as well. The US has not won a medal in 2-man since the 50's and a Gold in 72 years.
THIS IS THE LIFE OF AN OLYMPIC ATHLETE. NOT THE ONE THAT NBC ADVERTISES IN THE PROMOS, YOU BUST YOUR ASS AND TRY TO DO WHAT YOU CAN TO GET IT DONE.
My level of respect, understanding and knowing how incredible this life is for these athletes is tremendous.