Attention: Video game players. An Olympic gold medal might be in your future.
No, the International Olympic Committee hasn't added "Mineshaft" as a new event. But if you like driving a giant sled down an icy track at 90 miles per hour, well, you could have the focus and hand-eye coordination to follow in the footsteps of Steven Holcomb.
Holcomb, the driver of the United States' gold-medal winning four-man bobsled at the Vancouver Games, hopes to defend his Olympic title in Sochi. The 33-year-old, believe it or not, credits video games for helping him hone his driving skills.
"Playing video games like 'Halo' or 'Call of Duty' or any of these first-person shooters has a huge influence on my driving," Holcomb said. "After a couple of hours your brain actually ignores useless information and you're able to focus on the task at hand and what you're trying to do. It's the same with bobsledding."
"When I play video games, my driving gets better."
Holcomb always dreamt of competing in the Winter Olympics "from the time he was a little boy," says his mother Jean Schaefer. But he had visions of winning gold in another winter sport.
"Ski racing was my passion growing up – It was what I wanted to do," said Holcomb, who considered himself to be "better than most but not great."
"I think I would've done well and gone pretty far," he added. "But I don't actually think I would've made the Olympic team ever."
"I think he always thought he would go as a skier," Schaefer said.
Turns out, skiing's loss was bobsledding's gain.
- Sports & Recreation
- Steven Holcomb