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February 22, 2014

Jean DePlacido column: Langton revels in bronze medal triumph with family

After winning a bronze medal in the Winter Olympic two-man bobsled event, former St. John’s Prep and Northeastern University track star Steve Langton called home. It took several tries for him to get through from Sochi, Russia, but when he finally reached his parents and brother Sean, Langton told his mother he had won a medal for her.

Langton, the world push champion, had to give it a little extra at the start of the two-man race because driver Steve Holcomb had injured his calf on the second run the day before. Sliding down the mile track at speeds up to 80 miles per hour, every hundredth of a second counts.

“Knowing Holcomb had injured his leg, we were very nervous,” said Anne Langton, who admitted she was holding her breath during their runs. “All that was going through my mind was ‘Please let it happen’. Everything has to line up right, and we were worried the doctor wouldn’t Holcomb compete because of his injury. That’s what happened to Steven’s team in the last Olympics. They had crashed, but finished the race only to have the doctor decide that was it.

“Winning an Olympic medal has been No. 1 on Steven’s to-do list for as long as I can remember. Four years of struggles and sacrifices after Vancouver (in the 2010 Winter Olympics), but it finally happened. (He and Holcomb) are both such champions; it’s amazing to get bronze in those circumstances.”

Nobody is a bigger supporter for Langton than his former St. John’s Prep track coach, Ray Carey, who knows what it takes after seeing his son Ray Carey become an Olympic swimmer at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.

“I’m thrilled for both Steve and Chris Langton (Steve’s younger brother, who is an alternate for Team USA), and their family,” said Carey. “All three boys are all incredible athletes and wonderful kids to work with.

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