Bobsled – top-speed Olympic sport

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Winter Olympics are among the most-watched TV programs around the globe. Even people who are not interested in sports, enjoy watching and discussing everything that happens during this event, and every country is proud of its medalists. Most of the presented games take place on the ice, including skeleton, luge, and bobsled. The latter one is a particularly interesting sport, and we are going to take a closer look at it and explore its rules, history, as well as records.

Bobsled vs luge – what is the difference?

These two seemingly similar sports have a number of distinctions in their rules and ways of execution. The former is performed with a group of four people. They are seated in a special sleigh shaped somewhat like a canoe boat. Each sportsman in the group has a title, a position, and a role: a pilot, a brakeman, and two pushers. The pilot steers the sleigh using two metal rings with a pulley system. There is also a possibility for a group of two athletes to compete instead of four. In the case of women, only two players are allowed.

Bobsled vs luge – what is the difference

The biggest difference in the latter sport is that it is done solo or sometimes in pairs. Instead of a closed sleigh, the sportsmen ride a deck with runners. This equipment is roughly the size of two skateboards. Rather than sitting down, athletes lie on their back feet-first.

Another distinction between these two sports is the weight of the equipment. In the 1950s it was identified, how heavy are bobsled sleighs and athletes supposed to be. For a team of four, the maximum weight of both the people and the sleigh should not exceed 630 kg, for two men – 390 kg, and for two women – 340 kg. Of course, the heavier the equipment, the faster it will slide downhill, so if the team does not reach the maximum weight, it is allowed to use metal weights. How fast do Olympic bobsleds go? It depends on the weight, however, generally, the average speed during the Olympics is 130 km/hr. What accelerates the ride is also the sportsmen’s costumes. They are supposed to be tight, and a helmet is a compulsory item in it. The pushers have shoes with spikes to add more friction on the ice.

A short history of the sport to paint the picture

 The sport takes its roots in the 1840s when the Badrutt’s St. Moritz hotel became popular for its winter resorts. This place was very famous in Victorian England. As more and more guests stayed at the hotel, they had to find new ways of recreation that would include a lot of people. Thus, they had an idea to use delivery sleds for sliding downhill in groups of four. The sleighs kept collapsing with other people and pedestrians, so a special steering system had to be invented in order to prevent further accidents. Later, a separate track was created for the riders to stop cruising through the city and disrupting the citizens. As the years passed, more people picked up this sport and started competing in it.

A short history of the sport to paint the picture

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was established in 1924 and the sport has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1961. Women started competing in this activity on a professional level in 1983 and first performed in the Olympics in 2002 which took place in the park of the city called Utah – the Olympic park where such winter sports as bobsled, skeleton, and others could be performed. It is one of the most famous tracks in the USA, you can find images of it online. This is a perfect place if you are wondering where to try to ride a sleigh.

The fastest bobsled speed ever recorded

This game is a speed-oriented sport, the fastest one wins. Consequently, there will be speed records registered. The current highest score happened in 2019 at the Whistler World Championships. The speed was 156 km/hr. The Whistler track is the fastest bobsleigh route and hosted the Olympics in 2010.

As was mentioned above, the question of “how fast do bobsleds go” can be answered with the weight of the team and the sleigh combined. The 2019 record was established by a team of four athletes. When it comes to groups of two sportsmen, especially in women’s games, the time record is held by Kaillie Humphries from the USA team and constitutes 59.47 seconds.

Bobsleigh is an exciting and competitive sport that is interesting to watch. Although it is not as popular as football or hockey, it is definitely worth paying attention to in the next Olympic Games. The rules are not that hard to follow and you will certainly understand the key concept of the competition right away and thus obtain an image of a sports fan.
In the future, you will be able to meet articles about best snowboard goggles and how to choose ski sticks?

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