Church, Williamson, Horn and Volker finish 10th in four-man bobsled Olympic race; Del Duca, Valdes, Reed and Abdul Saboor tie for 13th
by USA Bobsled/Skeleton
Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Church, Williamson, Horn and Volker finish 10th in four-man bobsled Olympic race;
Del Duca, Valdes, Reed and Abdul Saboor tie for 13th
Team Church in the leader's box after the final heat.
YANQING, China (February 20, 2022) – Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.), Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) and Charlie Volker (Fair Haven, N.J.) finished out their Olympic debut with a 10th place finish in the four-man bobsled competition at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre this morning. Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Hakeem Abdul Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) posted respectable runs over the two days of racing to tie for 13th place.
“I think today was like, ‘We’re here for each other. We’re doing this for each other. We’ve earned the right to be here. Let’s just go out there and have fun,’” Church said.
Church and his crew of Williamson, Horn and Volker powered off the start block with the fifth-fastest start time of 4.94 seconds in the third heat. Church threaded together his best run yet of these games, crossing the finish line in 58.96 seconds for the eighth-ranked time of the heat. The top American team moved up two positions into 11th, just 0.04 seconds from the top-10.
Church, Williamson, Horn and Volker combined forces for the second-best start time of 4.93 seconds in the fourth and final heat. Church navigated the crew to the finish in 59.49 seconds, and they waited in the leader’s box as their total time of 3:57.06 held up to the next sled. The Americans finished 10th in their Olympic debut.
“It feels really good to have said, ‘Tomorrow we’re coming back and we’re going in the top ten’, and to accomplish that goal, that means a lot more than anything,” Church said.
“All year we’ve been throwing down with some of the best in the world,” Williamson said. “The fact that we’re doing that with Hunter having so little experience on this track and the European track, and with us being so young as a crew– it’s exciting.”
Del Duca, Valdes, Reed and Abdul Saboor clocked a start time of five seconds flat for a downtime of 59.39 seconds. The crew was tied with the French sled driven by Romain Heinrich for 14th place heading into today’s final heats. The French broke the tie, leading the Americans by one-tenth of a second going into the fourth and final heat.
The crew bettered their start to a 4.97-second push time in the final heat for the ninth fastest time of 59.44 seconds. They crossed the finish line in 3:57.65 to tie the Romanian sled driven by Mihai Cristian Tentea for 13th place.
“I think we came together before that last run,” Del Duca said. “It’s two of these guys’ last competitive push, so I think we just dug deep and gave it everything we had and we were able to pick off some people.”
Valdes and Reed took their last competitive runs this morning. Valdes collected 10 World Cup medals throughout his career and competed in two Olympic Winter Games. Eight of those medals were earned with Steven Holcomb, and two were with Codie Bascue. Reed claimed five World Cup medals. Four of them were with Holcomb, and one was with Church.
“I got pretty emotional up there and I knew it was going to be the last one,” Valdes said. “Reflecting back on everything– that’s why I was pretty much trying to harness that last push and put everything into it. It’s been a hell of a career. There are really no words to explain how it’s gone. There’s just so much to say, but right now, I’m just happy to have moved up a couple spots with Frank and to give everything in that last push.”
“I think after eight years I’ve put everything I’ve had into this sport,” Reed said. “Lots of ups, lots of downs. That was a great last run to end my career on. We had a great push, Frankie had an amazing drive, we climbed a couple of spots, we gave it everything we had and at the end of the day you can’t ask for anything more than that. We left it all out on the ice. I’m so thankful to be here, so thankful to have these teammates, friends, and be able to slide together here. Thanks to my family and friends, who have just been so supportive for so long. I’m honored to be able to represent Team USA here at the Olympics.”
Germany’s Francesco Friedrich swept the men’s bobsled Olympic races after winning today’s four-man competition with Thorsten Margis, Candy Bauer and Alexander Schueller. They finished 0.37 seconds ahead of their German counterparts to take gold in 3:54.30.
Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp secured the silver medal with a four-run combined time of 3:54.67. Canadians Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell narrowly edged out a third German team for the bronze medal with a cumulative time of 3:55.09.
Today’s final heats conclude the sliding events at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The team will march in the Closing Ceremony tonight before departing for home.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at email@example.com.
1. Francesco Friedrich, Thorsten Margis, Candy Bauer and Alexander Schueller (GER) 3:54.30 (58.29, 58.71, 58.17, 59.13);
2. Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp (GER) 3:54.67 (58.13, 58.90, 58.34, 59.30);
3. Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell (CAN) 3:55.09 (58.38, 59.00, 58.44, 59.27);
10. Hunter Church, Joshua Williamson, Kristopher Horn and Charlie Volker (USA) 3:57.06 (58.91, 59.70, 58.96, 59.49);
T-13. Frank Del Duca, Carlo Valdes, James Reed and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 3:57.65 (59.26, 59.56, 59.39, 59.44)
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.