2010-02-08 18:19 BJT

The three Olympic sliding sports are bobsleigh, skeleton and luge. All three grew out of the practice of using a sled or toboggan — a light, narrow wooden platform on runners — to slide on snow or ice. In winter, using a sled to travel and have fun dates back some 700 years.

The idea of racing sleds down a steep and twisting track dates back about 150 years, to the mid-19th century, when British tourists began tobogganing on the snowbound roads of the Alps.

The four-man bobsleigh was on the program of the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The two-man bobsleigh event joined the Olympic Games program in 1932. Women began competing in bobsleigh for the first time in 2002, at the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games.

How It Works

Today’s bobsleigh is built to be fast and aerodynamic, with a rounded fibreglass nose and four highlypolished steel runners. To start, the racers push off as fast as they can for approximately 50 metres, then jump into the bobsleigh for a seated descent down the track. The driver steers down the track, while, at the end of the run, the brakeman stops the sled.

There are three Olympic bobsleigh events: the men compete in two-and four-man bobsleigh and women in a two-person format.

In all Olympic Games events, four heats are held over two days, with medals being awarded to the team with the lowest combined time, measured to 0.01 of a second.

Competition Events




Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: