News

Bobsleigh

Learn about this Winter Olympic sport

January 10, 2014
LEON NEAL—AFP/GETTY IMAGES

 

Bobsleigh is one of three Olympic sliding sports. Each team races down an icy track in colorful, rocket-shaped vehicles built for great speed. The four-man bobsleigh has been a part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The two-man bobsleigh Olympic event debuted at the 1932 Winter Games. The women’s bobsleigh competition began at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Rules of the Game

Each bobsleigh race begins with racers pushing off as fast as they can for around 164 feet. Then, the racers jump into a seated position in the bobsled to race down the track. The driver is the first to enter the bobsled in order to steer it. The driver must avoid the walls of the chute while keeping the bobsled at top speed. The brakeman enters the bobsled last. The brakeman stops the sled at the end of the race.
 Four runs are held over two days for each of the three bobsleigh events (men’s two-person, men’s four-person, and women’s two-person). In each event, medals are awarded to the team with the lowest combined time, calculated to one-hundredth of a second.

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