Olympic medalist and world champion Steven Langton retires

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) Steven Langton has retired from bobsledding, ending his career with two world championship gold medals and two bronze medals from the Sochi Olympics.

The two-time Olympian made the announcement Wednesday through USA Bobsled and Skeleton.

Considered one of the best push athletes in the sport throughout his international career, the 32-year-old Langton had not competed for the U.S. since the Sochi Games more than 19 months ago. He took last season off and left the window open for a potential return to chase a third Olympic spot, but decided in recent weeks his time in a sled was over.

''Competing for Team USA will forever be one of the most memorable times in my life and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity,'' Langton said. ''As much as I love the sport of bobsled, competing with my teammates against the world's best, and as hard as this decision has been, I know that I'm making the right one.''

Langton is a former winner of the world push championship.

A native of Melrose, Massachusetts, Langton went to Northeastern where he competed in track and field. He saw bobsledding in the 2006 Olympics and tried the sport for the first time a year later after sending an email to longtime U.S. bobsled pilot Steven Holcomb asking how to get started.

Eventually, Holcomb and Langton were paired and became dominant - winning nearly two dozen World Cup medals together and thriving at the sport's biggest events. They won the 2012 world two-man championship together, Langton was also in Holcomb's four-man sled that won the world title that same year, and two years later at Sochi they combined to end a 62-year American Olympic drought in two-man by winning bronze.

''He's worked harder than anybody,'' Holcomb said. ''To be able to get him on the podium, that was a big goal of mine personally.''

Langton was enormously popular among sliders around the world. A pair of U.S. teammates made a video - ''Push Track Hero,'' they called it - highlighting his workout regimen that including squatting more than 500 pounds and pulling off 62-inch standing box jumps.

''Steve Langton made an immediate impact on the team,'' said USA Bobsled and Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. ''His work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better. He is also a heck of a nice guy. I have no doubt that he'll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.''

The U.S. bobsled team, with no returning Olympians on its push-athlete roster, opens World Cup competition for the season Friday in Germany.

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