2014 Winter Olympics: 10 U.S. athletes to watch

  • Steven Holcomb

    United States' pilot Steven Holcomb and teammates Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt compete in the four-man bobsled World Cup event on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Lake Placid, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) AP Photo/Mike Groll

    Just seven years ago, Steve Holcomb was nearly blind. A degenerative eye disorder forced the bobsled driver to the brink of retiring from the sport he loved and the Park City, Utah native became increasingly withdrawn – even attempting suicide in 2007.

     But a cutting-edge cornea procedure put him on the path to recovery, and within just a year, Holcomb became the first American to win a world championship in the four-man bobsled since 1959.

     "It was pretty crazy," Holcomb said of the dramatic turnaround.

    Just two years after the eye procedure, Holcomb again would be king of the bobsled world. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he led the USA-1 four-man bobsled team to a gold medal, ending a 62-year gold medal drought for Americans in the event. 

    Now 33, Holcomb is at the top of his game, dominating the World Cup season, and setting his sights on another gold in Sochi – this time with teammates Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt. He told CBS News that he expects "a battle" at the Olympics, with the Germans and Russians providing the biggest competition.

    "I know we can beat them. We have incredible equipment, a phenomenal push crew," Holcomb said, "and a great driver, I hope."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com