KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — It wasn’t the finish that Alpine’s Chris Fogt and his bobsled pilot Cory Butner were expecting.
But the 30-year old Fogt knows there are worse things than finishing in 12th place. Like not finishing at all.
Chris Fogt and Steve Holcomb’s brakeman Steve Langton were members of USA 2’s push crew in the Vancouver Olympics. They had a promising run when they were one of eight sleds that crashed on their second run. Bobsled pilot John Napier injured his neck and they were unable to finish the competition.
Even thought Fogt and Butner felt they could have been on the podium Monday night, the Alpine resident is happy to have his first Olympic finish.
“This was a great experience,” Fogt said. “It’s a great feeling. It was my first two-man race at the Olympic Games and it was a great honor to race with Cory Butner. He’s a great pilot.” The duo was in third place after one run, but when Butner tried to correct a small mistake he’d made on the first run, it caused a much bigger mistake and dropped them from third to 11th after two runs.
“We had some trouble there in the second run, and it kind of threw us back a little bit,” Fogt said. “But it was great to have that very first run to be in medal contention. I’ll use that for the four-man moving forward.”
Fogt said he was relieved to be competing after watching, waiting and training.
“We’ve been here since Jan. 31, kind of doing a whole lot of nothing,” he said. “Having this race will set me up better for the four-man, which is still five days away.” Despite his experience in Vancouver, which ended in a painful crash, Fogt said he wasn’t nervous for the two-man competition at Sanki Sliding Center.
“Not with Cory driving,” Fogt said. “He was the fifth-ranked driver in the world, and I thought we had a shot at winning a medal, which we did on the first day. Even that was great. This track is very, very hard with uphill portions, and with the limited runs we’ve had, it was tough. But we’re very honored to be here still and represent the USA. It was awesome.”
The two had never competed in two-man before, and both men said it went fairly smoothly.
“Being in medal contention after one heat was a very amazing experience,” said Butner, who will not race in the four-man competition.
He was disappointed about the mistake that cost them a chance at the podium, but he said, “That’s racing.”
Fogt is a push athlete for Holcomb’s four-man crew, and he said watching Holcomb win a medal energizes him as they prepare for Saturday’s final bobsled competition.
“If anyone can do it, it’s Holcomb,” Fogt said a few minutes before his fellow Utahn earned the bronze. “He’s the best pilot in the world. You’ll see that here in a few minutes, and you’ll see it in the four man.”