We will now explain to you in more depth about each of the sports. We will tell you about the histories, connections, where and when, and also give a few more pictures so you have a better idea of what we are explaining to you.
The three sliding sports are all related in the same way. This way is that they all involve going down and ice chute on some kind of sled. They all involve strong and athletic athletes. All athletes can relate to one another because they all have to face the fear of going down a steep ice chute with no brakes.
Luge was officially made an Olympic event in 1964. There were the different types of luge such as men's, women's, and doubles. Luge athletes are used to high racing speeds that are also in bobsled but they dont have comforting sleds. The luge sleds are flat and have steel runners on the underside of the sled. The sleds dont have any steering controls, but they do have breaks to allow the sled to stop after the finish line. The luge athletes start the race by sitting on the sled and use spiked gloves to push off down the beginning of track. This part is key and can make a difference on there track speed and time. Once on the sled the athletes apply pressure to one of the sides of the sled, this causes the sled to turn to one side.
This is the newest of the sliding events. It was made permanent at the 2002 Winter Olympics in salt lake city. Skeleton is a singles event only for both men and women. The sport of Skeleton got its name from the shape of the sled because it looks like a human skeleton. The sled is made up of fibre glass with metal runners on the underside. On a Skeleton sled there are no steering controls or brakes. Like in Luge, Skeleton athletes shift their weight to steer the sled. However the beginning of the descent is different. The athletes take a running start between 25-40 metres then jumping down on their stomachs.
In 1988, many people started to notice the first Jamaican bobsled team at the Calgary Winter Olympic games. This sport was part of the Olympics way before that though. The first sliding event that was introduced into the Olympics was the four man bobsleigh. It was introduced in 1924 and then followed by the two man bobsleigh in 1932. In 1990, women were allowed to compete in the two person bobsled event. The current bobsleds are made of light metals and steel runners. To cut down wind resistance, the design of the bobsled is as aerodynamic as can be. In the early years of the sport, there was no weight limit for the sled. This meant that the sleds were heavier causing faster times. Now a days, there are weight restrictions. There are runner gauge specifications and sled length limits which helps level out the playing field.
The 3 sliding events will take place at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler B.C. The bobsled events will start on February 20 th 2010. The Luge events will start on February 13 th 2010 and Skeleton events will begin on February 18g th 2010.
Here is a map of the track the athletes will go through