Steven was taken too soon, and his legacy will live on in his family, friends and teammates. His loss will be felt for years to come in not only the bobsled and skiing worlds, but also in each community that was lucky enough to get to know him. Steven is survived by his mother, Jean Anne, father Steve, sisters Stephanie and Megan, niece and nephews Sten, Aidan, Fritz, Raife, Annabelle, Xander, and MaxJack, grandfather Granjack. aunts and uncles Jill, Jackie, John and Lisa, and Kathy, and his eight cousins.
Since his death, his mother, Jean Schaefer, father, Steve Holcomb Sr., and sisters, Stephanie and Megan, have all shared some of their favorite memories of the former bobsled driver. Steve’s teammates have also done their best to honor their former driver.
“He was so excited to get here and be part of this with us, and share that experience with us, and he was just one of those guys where you always look up to him,” bobsledder Carlo Valdes told the USA Today. “Over the years we grew closer together and we started to do well going into this past year, and had some momentum going into this year, and now that you know we can’t share that with him, it’s going to be tough. But I know that he wants us to do really well here. He’s watching from above.”
Learn more about Steve’s family members he leaves behind.
1. Steve’s Mom Spent Months Researching Her Son’s Death
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Jane spent the first few months after her son’s death researching his final days.
Holcomb’s mother has spent the past months trying to sort through the details of her son’s life. She spends four or five hours a day working to access email, bank accounts and other parts of her son that have been locked inside his computer, protected by passwords she has had to fight to obtain. She calls it her “sleuthing time.”
“After he went to Pyeongchang, he was going to have to move into his mom’s basement and figure out the rest of his life,” Rapkin told WBUR. “That was his head space a few months out from the Winter Games. And 12 days later I got a call from his longtime agent, that he was dead.”
2. Steve’s Father Noted His Son’s Initial Dream Was to Be in the Guinness Book of World Records
Steve Sr. explained to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that his son did not always have his eyes on the Olympics. His initial dream was to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He didn’t care about the Olympics. He only wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. For anything — who could eat the most hot dogs, or whatever — he had to to get in there. That was his lifelong dream. He didn’t do it, but he got pretty close. Eating hot dogs is not nearly as cool as getting a gold medal from the Olympics.
Steve Sr. believes exhaustion played a role in his son’s death. He explained Steve’s final days in an interview with the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
I think that pressure, it’s what got Steven. I think that’s what happened. He was exhausted. They were doing a documentary on him, he had been out in California, back to Florida, up to Tennessee, back out to California, back down to Florida, then he came back here. Man, that kid’s going 90 all the time. He’s not a good sleeper. He was all tangled up.
3. Steve’s Mother Attended the 2018 Winter Olympics to Honor Her Son
Jean attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea in what was a courageous trip for a grieving mother. Steve’s mother called the trip a “bittersweet journey” in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. Jean wanted to honor her son’s memory, while also cheering on his former teammates.
“It’s difficult watching the sledders come down and know that Steve isn’t there,” Jean told The Salt Lake Tribune. “It slaps you in the face…I have a huge feeling inside me accepting the fact that Steven isn’t here anymore… I am here out of respect and to support those athletes that went the extra mile for Steven. I told them I’m going to be there for you. I’m going to bring Steven’s spirit and energy to you.”
4. Steve’s Sister, Stephanie, Wants “Steven’s Passing to Rest in a Graceful and Positive Way”
The family admitted in the Team USA press release that they preferred for Steve’s toxicology and autopsy results to remain private. One of Steve’s sisters, Stephanie Peterson, spoke with NBC Sports on her hopes moving forward.
“I’m not a religious person, but spiritual, and I beg of the universe that this puts Steven’s passing to rest in a graceful and positive way,” Stephanie told NBC Sports.
Steve’s sisters spoke as part of a two-hour funeral ceremony, remembering the times they shared with their brother watching the movie “Top Gun”. The Salt Lake Tribune detailed his sisters’ memories.
To sisters Stephanie and Megan, he was the kid who would make them rewind their old copy of “Top Gun” to rewatch, over and over, the opening scenes of fighter jets soaring off an aircraft carrier.
5. Steve Discovered Bobsledding After Noticing a Truck Hauling a Bobsled Pull Into a Gas Station
Like many Olympians, Steve’s path to bobsledding started in an unlikely manner thanks to a gas station stop. While with his father at a gas station, a truck hauling a bobsled pulled into the parking lot, and it peaked Steve’s interest. Steve Sr. recalled the story to Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
I tell you how it started. He was an accomplished ski racer. We were coming back from a ski race and sitting in a gas station outside of Park City. A truck pulls in, a little white pickup truck with a bobsled hanging off the back. He said ‘Hey dad, look, look. There’s a bobsled. There’s a bobsled.’ I said ‘Go ask the guy about it.’ He said ‘No, no, no, you go.’ He was too shy, he wouldn’t do it, so I went over and it was Bill Tavares (a U.S. bobsled coach). I got his card, got some information, and that summer he went and tried out for bobsled.