Bobsleigh In a Nutshell
Bobsleigh is one of the highest profile sports at the Winter Olympic Games and is known as the ‘Formula One race on ice’. Athletes sprint down the icy track on foot and push their sled at speeds of about 40km/h before jumping into the sled. Once the crew is loaded, the pilot steers the sled through twisting, high speed turns and straightaways where top speeds can reach over 130km/h.
Bobsleigh is a winter sport invented by the Swiss in the late 1860s in which teams made timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled. The world's first Bobsleigh club was founded in St Moritz, Switzerland in 1897.
In 1924, a four-man race took place at the first ever Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. Along with Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Nordic and Speed Skating, Bobsleigh is one of the original Winter Olympic sports.
A two-man event was added at the 1932 Lake Placid Games in a format that has remained to the present. The first women's Bobsleigh event - the two-woman bobsled - was added to the Olympic program at Salt Lake City in 2002.