The picture is from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and three of the athletes have Massachusetts ties: Steve Langton of Melrose, St John’s Prep and Northeastern University, Chris Fogt who attended both Belmont and Franklin High Schools and Chuck Berkely a former track and football star at Chicopee High School. Langton and Fogt will be competing again at the Winter Games in Sochi next week. They will be pushing 2010 gold medal pilot Steve Holcomb’s Night Train sled currently ranked second in the world in the four man event on February 22nd and 23rd. Ranked number one in the world, Langton will be pushing Holcomb in the two-man event on February 16 and 17 and Fogt will be pushing USA 2 in the two-man event where they are ranked 4th in the world. So there are high expectations for USA Bobsled medals coming out of Russia this year although there will be stiff competition from the Russians, Latvians, Germans and Swiss sleds.
Langton competed as a sprinter, jumper and pentathlete at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, where he was a Boston Globe All Scholastic recipient and three time league MVP. He also received the prestigious Best Athlete Award as a senior. He was a four year sprinter and jumper on the Northeastern Track and Field team posting personal bests in 2006 running a 10.58 in the 100 meters and nailing a 23’8” in the long jump event. After watching the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Steve filled out an athlete resume online and attended a summer recruitment camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. It didn’t take long for Langton to push his way onto the team, earning a spot on the World Cup circuit in his first competitive season as a bobsled athlete. Langton was named the 2008 Rookie of the Year before claiming the 2009 U.S. National Push Championship title. Since then, Langton has won three more National Push Champion Titles and has emerged as one of the best push athletes in the world and won the first-ever World Push Championship title in Cesana, Italy in 2011. Langton was named to Steven Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train” team after the retirement of Steven Mesler, and has helped push the team to two World Championship Titles in the Two Man and Four Man events.
Fogt played football and ran track at both Belmont and Franklin High Schools. He graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Business Management where he also ran track and field as a two year captain. He set indoor school records in the 100 meter sprint (10.53) and in the 60 meter dash (6.92). He also completed ROTC and commissioned into the Army as a 2nd Lt. in the Military Intelligence Branch. He is currently a member of the World Class Athlete Program. Fogt spent a one year deployment in Iraq immediately following the 2010 Vancouver games and has made a strong comeback to the sport and is heading to Sochi.
So what’s the Russell and Somerville connection? Langton’s parents, Anne and Steven were both born and raised in Somerville and Steven the father is a partner at Langton& Douglas Contracting here in Somerville which is a partner in the Russell venture. The company thought it would be nice to give the Massachusetts delegation some exposure before going off to Sochi. Unfortunately Chuck Berkely and Steve’s younger brother Chris also of Melrose and St John’s Prep and a former Lacrosse Player at Cornell, who slid on USA 3 on the World Cup Circuit, did not qualify for the Olympics. However Chris will be joining his brother in Sochi as an alternate.
The company also wanted to get the word out that in order to compete at this level, bobsledding is a year round sport. A few weeks after the Games the athletes will resume training in Lake Placid, New York and Park City, Utah until the World cup Circuit begins again next fall. To keep world class athletes in world class shape takes funding. No athlete becomes an Olympian on their own. It requires dedicated coaches, teammates, technology partners and supporters. Unlike teams from many of the nations our athletes compete against, our team receives no continuous government funding. The money it takes to train and compete at the highest amateur level comes entirely from private and corporate donations. Like every second, every step and every shot counts in the Games, so does every contribution. To make a donation or learn more about a corporate sponsorship go to USA Bobsled and Skeleton.
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