A bobsleigh is a streamlined sled with two sets of steel runners.
Two or four people sit in a bobsleigh.
The front person uses a wheel or rope to steer the sled.
The end person uses the brakes, but only in an emergency.
A bobsleigh run
A bobsleigh run is a least 1500 metres long and has no less than 15 banked turns. Sometimes special refrigerators are built into the runs to stop the ice from melting.
The competitors lean back and then jerk forward to help with the steering and to make the sled go faster; this body movement is called bobbing.
In competition, each team completes four runs of the course.The times of each run are added together and the team with the fastest time wins. During a race a boblseigh can reach speeds of more than 140 kilometres per hour.
History of bobsleigh
Bobsleig was invented in 1888 by an American, Wilson Smith, who while visiting with relatives in Switzerland linked two sleds together. The first bobsleigh competitions were held in Switzerland. Bobsleigh has been an Olympic sport, for men, since 1924. The first women's bobsleigh event - the two-woman bobsled - was held in 2002.
Competitors, (both male and female) dive face down onto a tiny sled and plummet, without brakes, head-first down a steep ice track! They steer the skeleton with movements of their body. The sport got its name because the early sleds looked a bit like a human skeleton!