Sledding Sports | Luge, Bobsled, Skeleton
Sledding sports, consisting of the luge, bobsled, and skeleton events, are winter sports where individuals attempt to race with sleds down narrow and twisting tracks of ice in order to be the fastest to the bottom. Originating in Switzerland, the first versions of luge and bobsledding began when individuals adapted sleds to slide quickly, often resulting in collisions with pedestrians. Luge is a one to two person sport, where individuals slide down the tracks face up on a sled to reach the bottom quickly. Similarly, bobsledding is a two to four person sport, where individuals slide down the tracks inside a sleigh to reach the bottom quickly. Skeleton is a one person variant.
A bobsled steers by the lead crew member who seat in front of the sled and is helped by his team. The driver uses a pair of ropes that are connected to the sled’s runners, from there he can turn left or right. The driver team can also help the turning by shifting their weight towards the turn.
A luge is a small one or two-seater sled that competes in speed sledding. You can acquire speeds up to 140 km/h (87 mph) on specific tracks. Top speed record holder Austrian Manuel Pfister reached 154 km/h (96 mph) during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The difference between luge and skeleton is that competitors sled the track on their backs with luge, while competitors sled on their stomachs with skeletons. They do this, mind you, at speeds above 90 mph. They also are both slid on similar tracks.