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U.S. earns bronze in bobsled on final day of Winter Games

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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — A couple of years ago, Chris Fogt was serving his country in war. On Sunday, he was representing his country on the medal podium at the Olympic Games.

Fogt won his first Olympic medal on Sunday, helping the USA-1 sled driven by Steven Holcomb win the bronze in four-man bobsledding on the final day of the Sochi Games. Holcomb was entering the day with two Olympic medals in his collection already, and sledmates Curt Tomasevicz and Steve Langton had one apiece.

And while this ride was for the United States, the three other guys in the sled decided it was very much for Fogt as well.

“Chris and I have been teammates since 2007,” Langton said. “This was for him. He deserves it. He works his butt off and he’s one of the most talented guys on the hill. So to do that for him, I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Fogt is one of the most popular guys on the American team, with good reason. He toils in anonymity, as most push athletes do, and never complains. He rarely talks about himself. He served a yearlong tour in Iraq after the 2010 Vancouver Games and remains committed to the military, so much so that later this spring, he returns to the U.S. Army — even though he probably could lobby his way into remaining in bobsledding.

Maybe someday, he hopes, he’ll be back in the sled getting ready for 2018. For now, the Army calls the new medalist, who watched Langton and Holcomb win a two-man medal in Sochi last week and hoped he could get the same moment in four-man.

“I can’t be happier, to tell you the truth,” Fogt said. “It’s my first one. It was big for me. Watching Langton win last week, my teammate in 2010, my training partner, my roommate on tour every single week this year, to watch him win I was obviously very excited for him. And at the same time I was kind of envious, praying to the good Lord that I would get my chance. I’m just very elated to be here.”

Not long after getting the medal, someone handed Fogt a phone, and his wife was on the other end of the line. They chatted quietly for a few minutes, his eyes reddening.

On March 5, they find out if their looming baby will be a boy or girl. On May 5, he’s headed back to the Army. And he’s ready for both.

“It’s an exciting time,” Fogt said. “I’m about as happy as I can be.”

Nick Cunningham, who lives in Lake Placid and drove the USA-2 sled with fellow Lake Placid resident Justin Olsen aboard finishd 12th.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Legkov leads Russian sweep

Alexander Legkov led a Russian sweep of the men’s 50-kilometer cross-country race Sunday, giving the host nation its first gold medal in the sport at the Olympics.

Legkov won a four-way sprint to the finish at the end of the freestyle mass-start race, pulling away from teammates Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov on the final straight.

On a perfect final day for the hosts, Vylegzhanin was second after beating Chernousov in a photo finish, 0.7 seconds behind Legkov. Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway was fourth, 1 second behind the winner.

The sweep cemented Russia’s position atop the medals table of the Sochi Games, with 12 golds and 32 medals overall.

Russia had fallen short of expectations in the cross-country competition until the final race, with only two silver medals from the men’s relay and team sprint events.

But like the country’s biathlon team — which won the concluding men’s relay for its first gold on Saturday — the Russians got it together in the final event.

After most of the leading contenders stuck together for the first 48K, Legkov upped the tempo and created the four-man breakaway group. Legkov was in front coming into the stadium and stayed there the whole way as none of the other three could match his final sprint.

Legkov had shown in the men’s relay last Sunday that he was in good form, setting the fastest time of all skiers on the third leg to put Russia in position to get the silver.

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