Bobsled: The Start

Utah Olympic ParkFrom the Whistler Sliding Centre:

The time it takes the sled to travel the first 65 metres down the track is the most critical part of a bobsleigh run. Without a competitive start — at least within 1/10 of a second of the fastest crew — a medal finish is next to impossible. As a rule, a 1/10 of a second lead at the start translates into a 3/10 of a second advantage by the bottom of the course.

Bobsledders are looking for maximum power and acceleration as they push the sled from a standing start. In both the two-man and four-man events, the first 65 metres are typically covered in about five seconds while reaching speeds of more than 40 kilometres per hour.

Bobsleigh teams consist of a brakeman and a pilot in the two-man event and a brakeman, two crewmen and a pilot in the four-man. In World Cup competitions, two heats are held over one day in each event. At the Olympic Games and World Championships (held annually except in an Olympic year), four heats are held over two days in both the two-man and four-man events. The crew with the lowest combined time for all events is the winner.

There are also America Cup and Europe Cup race series. Development level circuits for the newer teams, these races allow the teams to gain experience and earn the qualifications needed to compete at the World Cup and World Championship level. In addition to the senior World Championships, athletes under the age of 26 can compete in the junior World Championships.

Click HERE for more on the bobsled.

Come to the Utah Olympic Park and take a ride on the bobsled track (we won’t make you push)!

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