Bobsleigh entered the Olympic Winter Games program in 1924 in Chamonix. At that time the competition took place between four — man bobsleds (sledges), by 1928 four — or five — man bobsleds were competing, and only men took part in the bobsleigh events. In 1932 (with the exception of the Games in Squaw Valley in 1960, where there was no luge and bobsleigh track) a two — men bobsleigh competition was introduced alongside the four — person bobsleds event. In October 1999, women’s bobsleigh was added to the Olympic Winter Games program and women competed for the first time in the two-person event at Salt Lake City in 2002.
Bobsleigh in Russia
The development of bobsleigh in Russia dates back to 1980, when the Committee for Physical Culture and Sport of the Council of Ministers of the USSR made the decision to form a USSR national bobsleigh team. At the same time bobsleigh also became popular in athletic clubs throughout the country.
Bobsleigh involves high-speed mountain descent on special artificially made ice tracks on controlled sledges (bobs).
Olympic bobsleigh competition consists of four runs held over a two — day period. Medals are awarded based on the total time over the four runs, with the winner having the lowest overall time. If two teams complete the competition in a tie, they are awarded the same place. There are events for both men and women.
There are three events that make up the Olympic bobsleigh program: two — man bobsleigh competition, four — man bobsleigh competition and women’s bobsleigh competition (with two women in a team).Three Olympic medals are awarded altogether.
- Bob-driven sleigh. It consists of a main hull, a frame, a front and rear axle, and two sets of independent steel runners. There are two-man and four-man sleds. The driver controls the sled with his hands and fingers, using rings that are attached to a steering mechanism by ropes.
- The competitors wear a specially-made high-tech plastic composite helmet helps to prevent head injuries.
- Shoes are made of synthetic material, with spikes on the soles for traction during the push start.