Steven Jacobo fifth at adaptive bobsled worlds
Steven Jacobo can easily see the progress he has made during the course of his second season with the U.S. Adaptive Bobsled and Skeleton Association.
And the 25-year-old Gardnerville wheelchair athlete came up big last weekend when he emerged as a fifth-place medalist during the inaugural Para-bobsled World Championships in Park City, Utah.
Jacobo logged a combined time of 3:20.04 over four runs Friday and Saturday, good for fifth overall and first among Americans on the same Utah Olympic Park that hosted the 2002 Olympic competition. Jacobo averaged 50 seconds per run.
To put all that into perspective, just look at where he was at the start of the season.
“I did a lot better than I expected,” Jacobo said. “I improved a lot this whole season. I was in Park City in November and was literally close to last-place. I had a 52-second average, so I knocked off about two seconds. That’s huge when you consider this sport is all about hundredths of a second.”
Canada’s Lonnie Bissonnette won the gold medal with a time of 3:18.09. While Jacobo led the Americans with his 3:20.04, 2015 World Cup champ Jason Sturm was sixth with a 3:20.10 and disabled bobsled pioneer Aaron Lanningham was seventh in 3:20.22.
Jacobo’s highlight was a 49-second performance on his next-to-last run Saturday.
“I just tried to stay calm and focused,” he said of the run. “It was perfect. As soon as I crossed the finish, I knew I had a really good time. It was pretty exciting.”
Jacobo earned sixth-place awards earlier in the winter during races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Igls, Austria.
In addition to competing in the first-ever World Championships, Jacobo noted that the athletes in Park City were looking to make their case for inclusion in the Paralympic Games. A meeting of the International Paralympic Committee is set for Sept. 5, when a decision is due on the application to include Para-bobsled and Para-skeleton in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.