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US Olympic champion bobsledder Holcomb dies

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | Steve Holcomb poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on September 29, 2013 in Park City, Utah

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

Olympic gold medal-winning bobsledder Steven Holcomb was found dead Saturday in his room at the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, the US Olympic Committee said.

"The entire Olympic family is shocked and saddened by the incredibly tragic loss today of Steven Holcomb," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said in a statement.

"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 USOC said no further details on the circumstances of Holcomb's death were immediately available.

Holcomb, who was 37, competed for Team USA in three Olympic Winter Games, making history at Vancouver 2010 when he piloted the "Night Train" US four-man bobsled team to the gold medal.

It marked the first US gold in the event since 1948.

At Sochi in 2014, he went on to win bronze medals in both two-man and four-man bobsled.

Holcomb also counted five golds among his 10 world championship medals. He was a six-time overall World Cup champion and 60-time world cup medalist.

"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," said USA Bobsled & Skeleton chief executive Darrin Steele.

© 2017 AFP