Skeleton – Joy On Ice

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Skeleton is a thrilling sport which is quite similar to sledding. In fact it was the first sledding sports in Olympics. The equipments required in this sports are very simple: a sled, a compatible suit and a protective helmet. In this event, you need to go down the elevation in head go first position on stomach, as this is a rule of the game.

There are rules in this game, like how much should be the weight of sled and its driver. Similarly there are conditions for the weight, design and size of the sled.
The name of the game came from the skeleton shaped sled which was introduced in late 1870’s. It is designed low with a usual steel body. A fiberglass pod is added on the chassis with steel runners. This system of sled has no brakes. The rider rides the sled with head first and face down. All maneuvering is done through the shoulder and leg movements.

Skeleton sports history can be traced back to 1882, when soldiers in Switzerland developed a toboggan track between two town of Davos and Kolsters. While these tracks were common then, the added adventure of curves and bends added to the charm in these tracks.

The skeleton racers, usually with spiked shoes for grip, initially have to push the sled to gain the initial momentum. They can then steer and drive by shifting the body on the sled even dragging their toe for directional shift. They keep on using the same sled for each run in the competition unless it gets damaged and can’t be repaired. They are made of solid steel and judges in the tournament check the temperature of sleds, which should be as per ruled.

The first run is made by the participants. Then after that for the second round 20 men and top 12 women will participate. These two runs are conducted on the same day. The time of two races is added and the athlete clocking the best time wins.

Another popular sports of bobsleigh uses the same track as skeleton and provide same kind of thrill to all. The racer’s dress consist of a safety helmet with a chin guard, a special body suit and special shoes with spikes for grip and running on ice. For safety reasons, some of the participants wear padding under elbow and shoulders. This race starts when the racers run and leap on the sled to gain momentum. The racing track is 1500 meters long.

Bibbia is regarded as the king of skeleton and he grabbed Olympic gold in 1948 on the famous Cresta track in Switzerland. He remained undefeated for around 230 races, but was beaten by his own son Gianni in 1975.
Skeleton racing was in for the second time in winter Olympic Games in 1948. It remained out and was not added until 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah. Both men and women categories have been added.

In 2010 Olympics the skeleton competition was conducted in Whistler Sliding Centre between 18 and 19 Feb, 2010. Jon Montgomery from Canada and Amy Williams from Britain were skeleton winners in these events.

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