Behind The Gold: Bobsled Champion Billy Fiske

Dec 2, 2013

Billy Fiske in uniform.

A two time Olympic champion, this bobsledder gave his life for his country.

Hi, this is Tom Kelly and I’ll be right back with the Olympic story, Behind The Gold.

The second Olympic winter games came to St. Moritz in 1928, where the fabled Cresta run brought legendary status to the bobsleigh event. Among the favorites in the new five-man competition, team USA with 16-year-old driver Billy Fiske.

Born to a New York banking magnate, Fiske discovered bobsleigh in France and set his sights on the 1928 Olympics. With a quickly assembled team, Fiske went on to an upset win in St. Moritz.

Four years later, Fiske took leave of his job to head to lake placid. Conditions were horrible with the event delayed until after the closing ceremony. Once again, this time in the four-man sled, it was Billy Fiske doubling up with gold.

Fiske passed on an opportunity to drive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936. Ever the patriot, a few years later Fiske volunteered to fly for the royal air force as world war two was beginning. Sadly, he became the first American flier to die in the war.

Billy Fiske remains, today, the only American to win two bobsled gold.

This is Tom Kelly with Behind The Gold. Only in Park City. Only on KPCW.

Behind the Gold is sponsored by Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf and the Utah Olympic Park 'Road to Sochi' events.