Sports Spotlight: What is Bobsledding?


Anthony Ponton, Staff Writer

Many people know sports such as basketball or baseball, but not many know of the amazing sport called Bobsleigh.

Bobsleigh is a sport where teams go on a track made of ice with turns, twists, and it’s very narrow. People go down these tracks on a sled called a bobsledder. Bobsledders are a type of sled which is larger and are able to fit up to 4 people. The sled can also be steered. A bobsled goes at average speeds of 93 miles per hour. The fastest speed ever gone on a bobsled was 125 miles per hour.

The bobsled is used by having one driver who drives the bobsledder using two ropes. The ropes work as follows: if you pull one rope, that rope will make the steering pulleys turn one way, which makes the runners turn. On both sides of the Bobsledder, there are these bars which are used to push the vehicle before you go inside. The bar on the back is on both sides, but the bar on the front is only used for the driver, and the brakeman uses push bars on the back. The brakeman is in charge of using the brakes which are used by using a brake lever.

Bobsleigh is an Olympic sport. Its first time in the Olympics is in 1924 with a 4 man team and in 1932 with a 2 man team. This sport is only during the Winter Olympics because it involves ice. During the Olympics,  a team of two or four push the bobsledder to gain speed. Then they hop in one at a time really fast, if someone messes up it could make the bobsledder lose a lot of speed. When they start to go down the track they need to turn down the hill in precise movements. The track consists of narrow, twisty, banked, and icy on the track.  

Every 4 years there is a Bobsledding competition during the Winter Olympics. The most recent Winners, which were at South Korea, were both in Germany.Germany has won the most bobsleigh Winter Olympic Victory with 13 wins, followed by Switzerland with 9, and America is in third with 7 wins.

With such a dangerous sport there are many incidents like the James Morgan incident in 1981 where they were practicing for the 1981 championships. Some things which can happen are the cart flipping over, something breaking which rarely happens,  people could fall off, and many other things could happen.

What makes this sports special is the speed and skill it takes to do this sport, watching someone play the sport is very interesting.