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Bobsleigh is a traditional winter sport that travels down a long toboggan in a sled where two or four people travel.
Free Bobsleigh Coloring Pages
Bobsleigh is one of the most representative sports of the Olympic Winter Games, present since the first edition.
Born directly as a sport unlike other winter modalities, it is a race against the clock of sleds encased in an ice track, on which speeds well over 100 kilometers per hour are reached, with participants withstanding forces of up to 4 and 5 G in the turns.
Competitions usually feature two downhill runs, after which the times are added up, but at the Olympics, there are four.
Bobsleigh events are contested on an ice-covered concrete track. There are less than 20 approved competition courses worldwide.
The difference in elevation between the start and finish varies between 98 and 125 meters, with maximum gradients of 14.5%, and its length is around 1,300 meters.
The course must have at least one straight and at least 14 turns in both directions (the Lake Placid Olympic circuit has 20), some of which must be consecutive, and others must form a labyrinth.
The official competition modalities are the bob to two and the bob to four -there is a modality to six, but it is not authorized-and in them, the positions are very defined.
In the first place is the pilot and in last place the brakeman. In the bob to four, the pushers occupy the two intermediate positions.
At the start, everyone pushes the sled, which slides along pre-marked guides in the ice. When they jump in, they change their position to increase their speed by taking advantage of the inertia.
They wear lightweight overalls, helmets, and short, thin spike shoes for the push run, which is a critical moment in the competition.
It is not uncommon for pushers to come from other disciplines in which it is also relevant to be explosive in the sprint.
A bob – the specific name for the sled – usually has a carbon fiber or glass structure and bodywork and is not made of a single piece to better absorb impacts and better take turns.
It is governed by a pulley system that steers the skates to the right or left. Its design and construction are costly, similar to those used in motorsport.
In the case of the four-wheel bob, the maximum length of the sled is 3.8 meters, and the weight of the equipment is 630 kilograms.
In the bob to two, the sled becomes a maximum of 2.7 meters and the weight of 390, and in the women’s bob, the weight is reduced to 325 kilos.
In all cases, the maximum height is 0.67 meters. For the impulse race, each team member propels a support bar, which is retracted at the moment of jumping to the inside.
The blades are interchangeable depending on the type of ice and track, and it is forbidden to heat them before the run.
The bobsleigh was born as a tourist attraction in the winter resort of Saint Moritz in the early years of the twentieth century.
In the beginning, the practitioners used to slide on sleds through the town’s streets until they were forbidden to do so. A track was built and is still in use today.
Originally, sledding consisted of two sleds joined together, without a fairing, and the participants were lying face down.
It was an Olympic sport from the first edition, in Chamonix 1924, although absent in the 1960 edition. The world championships were later. They date back to 1931. Women’s bobsleigh came to the Games in 2002.