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Encyclopedia > Bobsleigh
Historic bobteam from Davos around 1910
Historic bobteam from Davos around 1910
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Bobsleigh is a winter sport invented by Englishmen in the late 1860s in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled. The various types of sleds came several years before the first track was built in St Moritz, where the original bobsleds were adapted upsized Luge/Skeleton sleds designed by the adventurously wealthy to carry passengers. All three types were adapted from boys delivery sleds and toboggans Competition naturally followed, and to protect the working class and rich visitors in the streets and byways of St Moritz, hotel owner Caspar Badrutt, owner of the historic Krup Hotel and the later Palace Hotel built the first familiarly configured 'half-pipe' track circa 1870. It has hosted the sports during two Olympics and is still in use today. In the United States and Canada the sport is known as bobsled; in Brazil it is bobsledge.[citation needed] Image File history File links Bobfahrer_Davos. ... Image File history File links Bobfahrer_Davos. ... Davos viewed from air Davos is a town in eastern Switzerland, in the canton of Graubünden, on the Landwasser River. ... 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Image File history File links Bobsleigh. ... Image File history File links Sound-icon. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Image File history File links Sound-icon. ... A winter sport is a sport commonly played during winter. ... // The First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA is built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ... Scene from winter nearly anywhere snow may fall on a handy hill—Children at play sledding. ... St. ... Icon of Luge at the 2006 Winter Olympics A luge is small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. ... United States Air Force Major Brady Canfield, 2003 U.S. skeleton champion, shows his takeoff form. ... A modern bobsleigh toboggan A toboggan is a simple sled used on snow, to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill or other slope, for recreation. ... Swissman Caspar Badrutt may have near singlehandedly invented the way we we now look at winter activities—a time for fun and frolic on the picturesque but cold slopes outside his first hotel in scenic St Moritz, historic summer Mineral spa town where the rich and royal took mineral cures... The historic Palace Hotel, St. ...


International bobsleigh competitions are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT). National competitions are often governed by bodies such as the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

Contents

History

Although sledding on snow or ice had been popular in many northern countries, bobsleighing is a relatively modern sport. It makes old men tap dance with glee after a saturday night bath. The bobsled came from a German term meaning "OLKYDOLKY" or "egyptian monkey".

Badrutt had recently successfully 'sold' the idea of 'winter resorting' to some of his Englis

h regulars using a wager as bait; he was annoyed with a four month long season for the rooms, food, booze and activities he sold; when a year or two later some of his more adventuresome English guests began adapting boys delivery sleds for recreation, they also began colliding with pedestrians whilst speeding down the village's lanes and alleys.[citation needed]


This had both short- and long-term outcomes: in the short term the guests began to scheme about and invent 'steering means' into the sleds, which becme the the head-first skeleton, luge, and bobsleighs (Bobsleds). As for the longterm effects, after a couple more years of happy pedestrian peril, Badrutt built them a special track for their activities—the world's first natural ice half-pipe in about 1870. It is still in operation today and has served as a host track during two winter olympics. The track is one of the few natural weather tracks in the world undependent upon extra refrigeration. The satisfied guests eventually enabled him to build the Palace Hotel, whilst holding onto the popular Krup Hotel, which catered to different clientelle, and brought in competition as winter tourism in alpine locales caught fire.[citation needed] United States Air Force Major Brady Canfield, 2003 U.S. skeleton champion, shows his takeoff form. ... Icon of Luge at the 2006 Winter Olympics A luge is small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. ... 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The historic Palace Hotel, St. ...


The first informal races were run on snow-covered roads, with the opening of formal competition in 1884 at St. Moritz. It's not known how much the original track evolved in the early years as the three sports matured and stabalized. The first club was formed in 1897, and the first purpose-built track solely for bobsleds was opened in 1902 outside of St Moritz.[citation needed] 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... St. ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


The Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) was founded in 1923. Men's four-crew bobsleigh appeared in the first ever Winter Olympic Games in 1924, and men's two-crew bobsleigh (two man bobsled) event was added in 1932. Bobsleigh was not included in the 1960 Winter Olympics, but has been in every Winter Olympics since. Women's bobsleigh started in competition in the early 1990s, and women's two-crew bobsleigh made its Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Bobsleigh is also contested at World, European, and World Cup championships. {{year nav|1939 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... An athlete carries the Olympic torch The Winter Olympic Games or the Olympic Winter Games, are a winter multi-sport event held every four years. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... The VIII Olympic Winter Games were held in 1960 in Squaw Valley, USA. Alexander Cushing, the creator of the resort, campaigned vigorously to win the Games. ... A runner carries the Olympic torch The Winter Olympic Games, Winter Olympics for short but more correctly The Olympic Winter Games, are the cold-weather counterpart to the Summer Olympic Games. ... (Redirected from 2002 Winter Olympic Games) The XIX Olympic Winter Games were held in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. ...


Over the years, bobsleigh tracks evolved from straight runs to twisting and turning. The original wooden sleds were replaced by streamlined fibreglass and metal ones. Switzerland and Germany have been the most successful bobsleighing nations measuring using over all successes in European, World, World Cup, and Olympic championships. The Swiss have won more medals than any other nation, and since the 1990s Germans have been dominant in international competition. Italy, Austria, USA and Canada also have strong bobsleigh traditions. For the band, see 1990s (band). ...


Tracks

A modern bobsleigh team, the 2006 United States two-woman team
A modern bobsleigh team, the 2006 United States two-woman team

Modern tracks are made from concrete and artificial ice. They are required to have at least one straight and labyrinth. Ideally, a modern track should be 1200 to 1300 metres long and have at least fifteen curves. Speeds may exceed 130 km/h, and some curves can subject the crews to as much as 5 g. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2100x1500, 1886 KB) Subject: w:Bobsleigh Source page url: http://www4. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2100x1500, 1886 KB) Subject: w:Bobsleigh Source page url: http://www4. ... Neve and Gliz, the 2006 Olympics mascots, on display in Turin The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, were celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. ... Concrete being poured, raked and vibrated into place in residential construction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ... The term g force or gee force refers to the symbol g, the force of acceleration due to gravity at the earths surface. ...


There are thirteen top-level competition tracks in the world:

Country City Length (m) Vertical
Drop (m)
Maximum
Grade (%)
Curves
Austria Igls 1 220 98.10 14 14
Canada Calgary 1 475 121.2 15 14
France La Plagne 1 507.5 124.5 14.5 19
Germany Altenberg 1 413 122.22 15 17
Königssee 1 250 117  ? 12
Winterberg 1 325 110 14.5 14
Italy Cesana 1 435 117 9.2 19
Cortina d'Ampezzo 1 350 120.45 16 11
Japan Nagano 1 762.3 112.5 15 13
Norway Lillehammer 1 365 114.3 15 16
Switzerland St. Moritz 1 722 129 15 13
United States Lake Placid 1 455 107  ? 20
Salt Lake City 1 340 103.9  ? 15
Average grade

Bobsleigh tracks are also used for luge and skeleton competition. Image File history File links Flag_of_Austria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Canada. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_France. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Norway. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Switzerland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_States. ... Icon of Luge at the 2006 Winter Olympics A luge is small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. ... United States Air Force Major Brady Canfield, 2003 U.S. skeleton champion, shows his takeoff form. ...


Sleighs and crews

Modern sleighs combine light metals, steel runners, and an aerodynamic composite body. Competition sleighs must be a maximum of 3.80 m long (4-crew) or 2.70 m long (2-crew). The runners on both are set at 0.67 m gauge. Until the weight-limit rule was added in 1952, bobsleigh crews tended to be very heavy. Now, the maximum weight, including crew, is 630 kg (4-crew), 390 kg (men's 2-crew), or 340 kg (women's 2-crew). Metal weights may be added to reach these limits, as greater weight makes for a faster run. Look up Gauge in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... In the physical sciences, weight is a measurement of the gravitational force acting on an object. ...


Bobsleigh crews once consisted of five or six people; they were reduced to two- and four-person sleighs in the 1930s. A crew is made up of a pilot, a brakeman, and, in 4-crew only, two pushers. Athletes are selected based on speed and strength, necessary to push the sleigh to a competitive initial speed at the start of the race. Pilots must have the skill, timing and finesse to drive the sleigh along the best possible line to achieve the greatest possible speed. In the early 1950's weighting was introduced to compensate for the natural advantage of having a heavier team. The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ...


Women compete in two-crew events, and men in both two- and four-crew competition.


Races

Runs (lauf) begin from a standing start, with the crew pushing the sled for up to fifty metres before boarding. The runners of the sled follow grooves in the ice for this distance, so steering is unnecessary until after the sleigh exits the starting area. Races can be lost in the initial push but are rarely won there. Over the rest of the course, the sleigh's speed depends on its BOBBIES< ITS BOBBIES< ITS BOBBIES< ANGRY TRUCK DRIVERS; the condition of the ice; and the skill of the driver.


Race times are measured in hundredths of seconds, so any error can have a significant impact on the final race standings. Even small errors make for small decreases in speed and commensurate increases in time. Because any decrease in speed affects the sleigh for the remainder of the course, errors made high on the track will have a greater effect than those made closer to the finish.


The men's and women's standing are calculated over the aggregate of two runs. At the Olympic Winter Games and World Championships, all competitions (for either men or women) consist of 4 heats.


See also

Bobsleigh has been contested at the Winter Olympics since the first Winter Games in 1924, with the exception of the 1960 games in Squaw Valley when the organizing committee decided not to build a track in order to reduce expenses. ... Icon of Luge at the 2006 Winter Olympics A luge is small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. ... United States Air Force Major Brady Canfield, 2003 U.S. skeleton champion, shows his takeoff form. ... A modern bobsleigh toboggan A toboggan is a simple sled used on snow, to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill or other slope, for recreation. ... The Matterhorn Bobsleds is an attraction made up of two intertwining steel roller coasters at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. ... Spielvereinigung Unterhaching are a German football (soccer) club, currently playing in the Zweite Bundesliga. ... Christoph Langen (born 27 March 1962) is a retired German bobsledder who won four Olympic medals in the two-man and four-man events. ... Cool Runnings is a 1993 comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub. ... The Jamaican Bobsled Team first gained fame during their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. ... (Redirected from 1988 Winter Olympic Games) The XV Olympic Winter Games were held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ...

External links

Governing bodies

  • Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing, the world governing body.
  • Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton, the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in Canada.
  • Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation, the national governing body for the sport of bobsled in Jamaica.
  • United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States.

National sites

  • Bobslejs LV, Latvia.
  • Australian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, Australia's national team.
  • Österreichischer Bob- und Skeletonverband, Austria.
  • Confederação Brasileira de Desportos no Gelo, Brazil.
  • Bob- und Schlittenverband für Deutschland, Germany.
  • British Bobsleigh Association, Great Britain.
  • Bobsleebond Nederland, Holland.
  • Israeli Bobsled Team, Israel.
  • BobItalia, Italy.
  • Norges Ake-, Bob- og Skeletonforbund, Norway.
  • Schweitzerischer Bobsleigh-, Schlitten- und Skeleton-Sportverband, Switzerland.

Other sites

  • 2006 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team bios
  • Official site of BobTeam USA The official site of US national team member Steven Holcomb and BobTeam USA
  • Calgary Bobsled Club, providing access to the track at Canada Olympic Park.
  • Alberta Bobsleigh, provincial team in Alberta, Canada.
  • Bobsledding Topics
  • Steel and Ice Project, Women's Bobsleigh Portal - providing information on Women's Bobsleigh.
  • Statistics
  • Jamaica Bobsled-Olympic History

  Results from FactBites:
 
Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobaganning (389 words)
Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobaganning is the web site for all of your international bobsleigh and skeleton news, history, competition results and athletes.
Bobsleigh and skeleton calendar will keep you up to date on this year's international bobsleigh and skeleton events.
Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobaganning - News
Bobsleigh - Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games (447 words)
Bobsleigh is a winter sport in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked purpose-built iced tracks in a gravity-powered, steerable sled.
EVENTS: Bobsleigh at the 2006 Winter Olympics will be held in the town of Cesana Pariol (a suburb of Cesana Torinese), Italy from February 13 to February 24.
As of 2005, bobsleigh is split into men's and women's events, women compete in two-crew and the men in both two- and four-crew competition.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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