Sochi 2014 - Home of the 2014 Australian Olympic Winter Team
Bobsleigh Bobsleigh

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.

Bobsleigh

Australian Bobsleigh History

Australia first competed in Bobsleigh at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. At this stage there were only men’s two-man and four-man events available, and Australia contested both events (with two teams in the two-man event). Australia has been represented in Bobsleigh at every Games since, with the exception of Salt Lake 2002.

The best Australian two-man result is 22nd, achieved by Jason Giobbi and Adam Barclay (Nagano 1998) and Jeremy Rolleston and Shane McKenzie (Torino 2006). Justin McDonald, Glenn Carroll, Scott Walker and Adam Barclay achieved the best four-man result of 20th (Lillehammer 1994).

After the women’s two-man event was introduced in 2002, Australia was first represented in the women’s event at the Torino Games in 2006. Astrid Loch-Wilkinson (now Radjenovic) combined with Kylie Reed to place 14th. Loch-Wilkinson contested her second Games in Vancouver 2010 alongside Cecilia McIntosh and they finished in 19th position. 

Jeremy Rolleston was selected to pilot Australia’s four-man crew and one of Australia’s two two-man crews in Vancouver. However in the two-man race with Duncan Pugh, a steering incident saw their craft overturn, forcing them to slide down the remainder of the course. The four-man sled was forced to withdraw because of injury.

Fast Facts

Bobsleigh Action
Days 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 & 16
Total Athletes
170 (130 Men, 40 Women)
Medal Events
3
Venues
Sanki Sliding Centre
Crowd Capacity
5,000

Schedule & Results

Start lists for Australian athletes will be available as soon as they are allocated. Please note this can be as late as within 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the event. Medal events, regardless of Australian participation, will also be displayed here.

Day 9, Feb 16 2014

(Local) / 8:15 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Two-man Heat 1
28th 28th 28th 28th
(Local) / 9:50 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Two-man Heat 2
26th 26th 26th 26th

Day 10, Feb 17 2014

(Local) / 6:30 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Two-man Heat 3
26th 26th 26th 26th
(Local) / 8:05 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Two-man Heat 4 Medal Event
RUS Alexander Zubkov SUI Beat Hefti USA Steven Holcomb

Day 11, Feb 18 2014

(Local) / 7:15 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Women's Heat 1
15th 15th 15th 15th
(Local) / 8:20 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Women's Heat 2
14th 14th 14th 14th

Day 12, Feb 19 2014

(Local) / 8:15 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Women's Heat 3
15th 15th 15th 15th
(Local) / 9:25 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Women's Heat 4 Medal Event
14th 14th 14th 14th
CAN CAN USA USA USA USA

Day 15, Feb 22 2014

Day 16, Feb 23 2014

(Local) / 1:30 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Four-man Heat 3
22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd
(Local) / 3:00 PM (Sochi)
Start List Results
Four-man Heat 4 Medal Event
RUS Alexander Zubkov LAT Oskars Melbardis USA Steven Holcomb

Selection Info

Australia has qualified one two-man (male), one two-man (women) and one four-man (male) to compete in Bobsleigh in Sochi.

Events and Competition Format

Bobsleigh consists of three events in the Olympic program; the male four-man and two-man and female two-man. Each event consists of four heats, held on two consecutive days. The four runs are timed to 0.01 seconds. The final standings are determined by the total time over the four runs; the winner is the sled with the lowest aggregate time. If two teams complete the competition in a tie, they are awarded the same place.

Since Torino, only the 20 best-ranked sleds will compete in the fourth run. Entries are limited to two sleds per nation. The starting order is decided according to the nation's rankings on the World Cup.

The athletes push the Bobsleigh, reaching speeds of about 40km/h before they jump onto it. 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. The success of a team hinges on the initial pushing phase, as well as the steering and the materials of the sled (the sled and blades).

Maximum sled weight of the combined team and equipment is specified, and the temperature of the runners measured prior to the competition to deter warming. If the Bobsleigh overturns, but all members of the team have passed the finish line inside it, the descent is considered valid.

Qualification, Nomination and Selection

There is a maximum of 170 (130 men and 40 women) athlete quota places. Each nation can qualify a maximum of 3 crews per event.

The qualification period is 15 October 2012 – 19 January 2014. The International Federation of Bobsleigh and Tobogganing (FIBT) will allocate quota places to each nation on Monday 20 January 2014.

After this date and before 22 January 2014, the Australian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (ABSA) will nominate athletes to the Australian Olympic Committee to fill the available quota places, provided the athletes meet the nomination and selection criteria.

It is anticipated Australia will qualify one two-man (male), one two-man (women) and one four-man (male) to compete in Bobsleigh in Sochi.

Read the qualification, nomination and selection criteria in full here:

Sochi 2014 – FIBT Bobsleigh Qualification System >>
2014 Nomination Criteria – Bobsleigh (not yet available)
2014 Selection Criteria – Bobsleigh (not yet available)

Bobsleigh

Equipment

Brakes

Brakes are applied by lifting a lever that lowers metal teeth into the ice.

Push handles

The side push handles must be retractable. The rear push handles are not retractable. All push handles are used to push the bob at the start.

Helmet

A high-tech plastic composite helmet must be worn to prevent head injuries. Many have visors to protect the eyes, or the athlete may choose to wear goggles.

Start shoes

Start shoes are made of synthetic material, have spikes on the soles for traction during the start push.

Sled

The sled consists of a main hull, a frame, a front and rear axle, and two sets of independent steel runners. The hull, also known as a cowling, is generally constructed of fibreglass and is open to allow team members to board and sit down.

Specifications for Two-man sled: Minimum weight (excluding crew): 170kg Maximum weight (including crew and equipment): 390kg(Women’s sled: 340 kg.) Maximum length: 2.70 metres Maximum width: 0.67 metres

Specifications for Four-man sled: Minimum weight (excluding crew): 210kg Maximum weight (including crew and equipment): 630kg Maximum length: 3.80 metres Maximum width: 0.67 metres

Useful Links

International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation

Sanki Sliding Centre

Sanki Sliding Centre

The Sanki Sliding Centre in the mountain cluster is located in Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia, 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Sochi. Located in the Western Caucasus, this venue will host the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Bobsleigh boys' Olympic run comes to an end

Bobsleigh boys' Olympic run comes to an end

BOBSLEIGH: It wasn’t the fairytale finish they were hoping for, but Australia’s 4-man Bobsleigh team have finished their Sochi 2014 Olympic campaign happy with the result.

Sochi so Soon!

Exclusive fan e-news

Calm and consistent Bobsleigh boys

Calm and consistent Bobsleigh boys

BOBSLEIGH: Looking to finish in the top 20 at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, Australia’s 4-man Bobsleigh team put together two consistent runs on the opening night of the event.

Astrid and Jana happy with opening two runs

Astrid and Jana happy with opening two runs

BOBSLEIGH: Australia’s women’s bobsleigh team Astrid Radjenovic and Jana Pittman have completed two solid runs on the opening day of their competition at the Sanki Sliding Centre in Rosa Khutor.

Aussies feel the rhythm

Aussies feel the rhythm

BOBSLEIGH: In an effort that replicated that of a fabled Disney tale Australia’s Heath Spence and Duncan Harvey have performed admirably to finish the two-man Bobleigh competition in 26th.

Sochi so Soon!

Exclusive fan e-news

Track sprinters now Bobsleigh sliders

Track sprinters now Bobsleigh sliders

BOBSLEIGH: Seven athletes will make their Winter Olympic debuts in Bobsleigh at the Sochi 2014 Games, having already represented their country at the Summer Olympics.

Sliding Sports Press Conference

SKELETON & BOBSLEIGH: The Australian skeleton team and men's 2-man bobsleigh team faced the media to discuss their Sochi arrival, new equipment and also a unique hair style.

Steele Aussies have head in the game

Steele Aussies have head in the game

SLIDING SPORTS: The stunning Sanki Sliding Centre is where Australia’s fearless sliders from Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Luge will challenge the world’s best at Sochi 2014.