Posted by: tonywilburn | March 2, 2010

I could’ve been a contender.

Ok, I’m going to break form here and write something besides a hint, tip, or preview of technology to come.  This is about my new hero.  As a young boy, I loved sports, still do actually, but as a young boy I really loved sports.  Football, basketball, baseball, softball, kickball, I didn’t care.  If someone was playing I was in.  Unfortunately, at 5’11”  I was too short for basketball, too slow for football, and not good enough a hitter for baseball.  And then there was the Olympics.  For two weeks every few years I was enthralled by the worlds best athletes.  Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, it didn’t matter.  Seeing those athletes stand on the podium with their national anthem playing was one of the most awesome experiences I could imagine.  I was so in awe that I even had the summer and winter Olympic video games on my computer, an old IBM 8086.  But, of course, there was no way I was athletic enough for the Olympics, so it remained a dream.

As the years passed I discovered that there was something that I was good at.  Computers.  Working with computers I was a natural, PCs, servers, networks, it didn’t matter, I could handle it.  The years passed by and I took on the look of a Systems Administrator.  You know the ones, goatee, what hair I have left cut short, overweight from all the Mountain Dews I drank trying to stay awake doing after hours system upgrades while the users were home living their lives.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know we don’t all look like this, some of my peers actually do things like …gulp… run, and without chasing someone or being chased.  I’m just saying that if you were building the stereotypical Systems Administrator he would look at lot like this….

Imagine my surprise when I saw Steven Holcomb…

I turned to my wife and said, “He missed his calling, he should have been in IT.”  Well, as I watched him over the next several days, he placed sixth in the two man bobsled, and then guided his team to the gold medal in the four man bobsled.  Steven Holcomb definitely did not miss his calling.  But still, I couldn’t help being curious, so I did some research.  I was amazed at what I found….Holcomb majored in Computer Science at the University of Utah and the University of Phoenix’s online program.  He is an A+ Certified Computer Technician, Network+ Certified Network Technician, and a Microsoft Certified Professional.  What?  He’s one of us!!!!  You mean the dream of being an Olympic champion is not out of reach, even for us IT guys?  I find this out now, when I’m 40 years old?!?!?!?  But, I could’ve been a contender.  I think Holkie said it best on twitter, “Find a dream, work for it, then live it!

Steven Holcomb, thanks for showing us that anyone, even an IT geek, can realize the Olympic dream.  Congratulations on your Gold Medal.


  1. Thanks! I”m proud to represent geeks everywhere. I know it sounds crazy, but drinking Mountain Dew at the wee hours of the morning while doing a system wide upgrade actually sounds fun. Thanks for your support.
    -Steven Holcomb

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