It hasn't even been a full 24 hours and members of Steve Holcomb's ‘Night Train' -- Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Mesler, and Justin Olsen -- plug along, celebrating the United States' first four-man gold medal since 1948. Prior to taking in the U.S. vs. Canada men's hockey game on Sunday, the world champion foursome sat down with NBCOlympics.com to talk about the excitement surrounding Saturday's big event and their post-Olympic plans.
NBCOlympics.com: Can you talk about the last couple of hours? Mesler said he only got three hours of sleep.
Curt Tomasevicz: My phone hasn't stopped ringing. I'm hearing from people that I haven't heard from in years, and its kind of a weird thing. But its just great to know that I have all this support and so many people watched and they're really happy with how we did.
Steve Holcomb: Yeah, its been kind of a whirlwind. I was literally setting the alarm on my phone and I was watching the Facebook count go up as I was typing in my phone. It was kind of interesting to just watch messages just coming in like that so knowing the support is back there and knowing everyone is so happy and celebrating, its been fun.
Steve, so your Facebook requests are skyrocketing?
Holcomb: Last time I checked it was 376. Oh wait, 394.
Mesler: What are we talking about messages, friend requests?
Holcomb: Messages and 75 direct emails.
How about friend requests?
Holcomb: I don't even want to look. These guys said they have like 200 waiting and I've got a hundred from yesterday. I left the village with 170 and got back to almost 300.
How about you, Steve?
Mesler: I think it really hit this morning when we did some of the affiliate stuff and we talked about different areas. One thing that I can picture that I've always wanted is that Sunday morning [after the race] when people go to work, church, the synagogue, or wherever they go in groups, they all get together and say, "Did you see what our boys did last night?" To know that this morning it was happening and people were saying "Our boys" and talking about what the four of us accomplished, I think that's pretty cool.
Going into the fourth and final run on Saturday, you had a tight lead ahead of Canada's Lyndon Rush and Germany's Andre Lange. Was it nerve-racking to think you were so close?
Holcomb: You know, the week before we were sitting in third place by thirteen hundredths or something. I was more nervous about having a half second lead than I was for the thirteen hundredths because I didn't want to be that guy who went out there and lost the half second lead at the Olympic Games and lose the gold medal. But at the same time I knew that these guys were going to have a fast push because they have the best push in the world. I just kind of needed to do my thing. In the end it's the only run we didn't win, but we did what we needed to do to make sure we were on top.
Six sleds crashed during the first two runs of competition, and with the events that occurred on Day 1 with the tragic loss of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Whistler course has received a lot of criticism for being too fast. Did any of that affect you as you prepared for the four-man contest?
Holcomb: This track has, from the first day it opened, had a reputation for being difficult and tricky. We knew that going into the sport and going into this race. I think the biggest issue was just that it's the fastest track in the world and there's nowhere else you can train for 95 mph. On top of that, people are having bad experiences on the track and people are still learning how to drive it. When we showed up two weeks ago, I had been down the track but I couldn't tell you the lines. I had to go back and almost start over.
And adding the Olympic conditions with the ice, it's going to be faster than ever. It's going to be tricky because they don't want to make it an easy race, so add 95 mph, no runs down the track, and extremely hard ice, difficult ice -- it kind of makes for a bad situation. But at the same time, we like speed and we're here to go fast. I drive the best that I can to keep us going fast, and then we design sleds to go as fast as possible, so its all about the speed.
Steve, you're good friends with Germany's Andre Lange, the five-time Olympic champion, who will retire at the end of the Vancouver Games. Did he have anything to share with you yesterday, after you won?
Holcomb: Obviously he was upset, but he knows what its like to be the guy that puts a whooping down for a run. Before the second heat actually, he was giving me good luck. He looked at me and was like "Relax, have fun."
The "Night Train" team are world champions and now, Olympic gold medalists. What is it that makes this team so special, in your own words?
Olsen: I think that we all feed off of each other. I try to be really calm and that seems to be working for me since I got in the sport - just being calm and letting everything else take care of itself. Curt and Steve are kind of vocal guys, then if Holcomb happens to yell something, it gets me fired up too. There's no dominant personality here. We are all different people and we all have different things to bring to the table, so we don't get in each other's way, which is nice.
Geoff Bodine and Bob Cuneo have done a lot for U.S. bobsled with the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and this win has been 18 years in the making for them. How great was it to share this win with Geoff?
Mesler: The first time I really had more than ten seconds to interact with Geoff was when we got to the USA House last night and our friends and family were there. I walked over to Geoff and, all I could say was thank you. I said, "Geoff, I don't know what else to say" and he said, "That's enough." The first thing I did was take the medal off my neck and just put it in his hand. Geoff looked like a little kid on Christmas morning and I was so happy for us to be able to give that to him after all that he's given us.
What are your post-Olympic plans?
Holcomb: I had some stuff planned, just kind of go home and relax, but I think things have changed considerably in the last 12 hours, so I don't know anymore.
Tomasevicz: I just bought a house in Colorado Springs. I have to move my stuff.
Olsen: I'm packing everything up from Lake Placid and driving to Texas. I'll stay there awhile, and then maybe join the Army.
I'm not joining the Army, I'm going to go ski. I haven't been home
since October, so I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my bed for
more than one day.
Holcomb: I think it just hit 400 messages.
- MacKenzie Wilson