Bobsledding is one of the most exciting Olympic sports in the Winter Games. Bobsledding is a sport that features a sled (with either two or four people) racing down a slide-like track. Bobsledding started in Switzerland in the 1800s and the four-man event debuted at the Winter Olympic Games in 1924. The two-man event was added in 1932. Women bobsledding events did not occur in the Olympics until 2002 when the two-woman event was introduced.
Bobsledding is fun to watch and exhilarating to take part in. It is a not a sport that is widely engaged as a hobby but, if your children are interested in it, then it is worth investigating locally to see if any ski resorts offer such a sledding program. For children who are homeschooled it is also a way to earn gym credits and get exercise.
Below are some facts about bobsleds:
• The bobsleds that are currently used in the Olympic Games are made of fiberglass.
• BMW, the maker of luxury cars, design and build bobsleds.
• Sleds are steered by a driver pulling one rope in his right hand and another rope with his left hand.
• The last person is the sled is referred to as “the break man.” The break man pulls up on the break at the end of the sled’s run to release a piece of metal into the ice and thereby slow down the sled until it halts.
• Sleds can easily exceed speeds of 90mph as they descend down the track. Whoever gets down the slope the fastest wins.
• Prince Albert of Monaco used to be on a bobsled team. He competed in five Olympics and currently serves as an International Olympic Committee member.