Steven Holcomb, a former Olympian Gold Medalist in the bobsled, was found dead in his room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York on Saturday.
He was 37 years old.
As of this writing, the cause of Holcomb’s is unknown.
No foul play is suspected and it is believed he died in his sleep, although we’ll know more about an autopsy is performed.
“The entire Olympic family is shocked and saddened by the incredibly tragic loss today of Steven Holcomb,” Scott Blackmun, United States Olympic Committee CEO, said in a statement.
He added: “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.”
Holcomb, a native of Park City, Utah, won a total of three medals while representing the United States at the Olympics.
He took home a Gold in 2010 after piloting the four-men sled that broke the United States’ 62-year first-place drought in the event.
And Holcomb also won two two bronze medals in 2014; the five-time world champion was training for the 2018 Games at the time of his death.
“The only reason why the USA is in any conversation in the sport of bobsled is because of Steve Holcomb,” U.S. bobsled pilot Nick Cunningham, who roomed next to Holcomb in Lake Placid, told the Associated Press.
“He was the face of our team. He was the face of our sport. We all emulated him.
“Every driver in the world watched him, because he was that good at what he did. It’s a huge loss, huge loss, not just for our team but for the entire bobsled community.”
Holcomb battled depression in the past and even attempted suicide inside of a hotel room in 2007.
He wrote honestly and emotionally about this period in his life as part of his 2012 autobiography, “But Now I See: My Journey From Blindness to Olympic Gold.”
The memoir chronicled how Holcomb was diagnosed with the eye disease keratoconus, which slowly degenerated his vision until a surgery saved his sight and, as a result, his bobsledding career.
“After going through all that and still being here, I realized what my purpose was,” Holcomb said in a 2014 interview with the AP.
Said USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said in a statement on Saturday:
“It would be easy to focus on the loss in terms of his Olympic medals and enormous athletic contributions to the organization, but USA Bobsled & Skeleton is a family and right now we are trying to come to grips with the loss of our teammate, our brother and our friend.”
We send our condolences to the family members, friends and loved ones of Steven Holcomb.
May he rest in peace.