Xbox stolen from gold medal bobsledder

It's not the loss of the game console that hurts so much as the hundreds of hours of saved games, says Stephen Holcomb. "It's like a death in the family."

It's been pretty much one great thing after another for Steven Holcomb since winning the bobsled gold at the Vancouver Olympics. Well, at least until this week.

Holcomb, who is a big-time computer nerd and video gamer , discovered that his prized Xbox 360 and games had been stolen out of his car. And while the $4,000 worth of gear and games has him a little queasy, what really makes him sick are the hundreds of hours of saved games that he had on the console.

After six weeks on the road, bobsled gold medalist--and avid gamer--Steven Holcomb was looking forward to some quality time with his Xbox 360. Steven Holcomb

"It's like a death in the family," Holcomb said in an e-mail interview, "at least for me being single with no kids."

Next to his gold medal from Vancouver --which was the first for an American in the sport in 62 years --the Xbox was pretty much his prized possession.

"Well, considering I'm a volunteer and I don't have any possessions, this was a huge loss," he said. "I have a 1990 Honda Accord, a simple Netbook, a bunch of clothes, and an Xbox. What I have lost is equivalent to losing your house, and all the furniture inside. This is devastating, I'm a huge gamer without a game."

The loss of the saved games is particularly painful for Holcomb, whose style is to play games until he's almost near the end, but then savor that last little bit when his character is quite powerful.

Steven Holcomb, right, with teammate Steve Mesler, as they collected their gold medal after winning the four-man bobsled in Vancouver. Ina Fried/CNET

"I play games as long as I need to, and if I really like it, I tend to not finish the game because I don't want it to end," Holcomb said.

In all, Holcomb said he has 27 games that he now has to reacquire and start over from scratch. Among his favorites are Halo:ODST, Fable 2, The Orange Box and Half-Life.

The worst part, he said, is that he finally has his first few days off since winning the gold and was really hoping to get some gaming in.

"I have a few days off to play and now I am sitting in front of my TV hoping something good will come on," he said. "It's torture."

But, Holcomb admits, he's had a pretty good ride of late. Since his winning run, he and his teammates have been on what amounts to one big media tour.

"It's go, go, go...but I love it," Holcomb said. "I've been on Letterman, to NASCAR races, NHRA Races, LA Lakers games, LA kings games, (a) Mercedes-Benz spokesman, (a) keynote speaker, even a spot on TMZ. It's really busy and exhausting, but so much fun. I wouldn't trade it for the world."

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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