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Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four teammates make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity powered sleigh. The timed runs are combined to calculate the final score.The various types of sleds came several years before the first tracks were built in Switzerland, where the original bobsleds were adapted upsized luge or skeleton sleds designed by the adventurously wealthy to carry passengers. All three types were adapted from boys' delivery sleds and toboggans.Competition naturally followed, and to protect the working class and rich visitors in the streets and byways of St Moritz, bobsledding was eventually banned from the public highway. In the winter of 1903/1904 the Badrutt family, owners of the historic Kulm Hotel and the Palace Hotel, allowed Emil Thoma to organise the construction of the first familiarly configured 'half-pipe' track in the Kulm Hotel Park, ending in the village of Cresta. It has hosted the sport during two Olympics and is still in use today.The name Bobsleigh came from early racers bobbing their heads backwards and forwards. It didn't work, but the name stayed with the sport.Bobsleigh and bobsledding are both correct names for the large sled made up of two sections linked together. The frame is made of metal, the shell of fiberglass or similar material. There are two sizes, two man and four man.Olympic bobsledding competitions include two man and four man.In the Olympics and other major competitions, the bobsled run is at least 1,500 meters (about 1,640 yards) long and it has about 15 or 20 turns. The average slope ranges between 8 and 15 percent.The start of the race is crucial to a team's success. Riders, wearing cleated shoes, run alongside the sled, pushing it to achieve maximum velocity. As it builds speed, the riders jump in, the driver in front and the brakeman, pushing the back of the sled, entering last. The heavier four person sleds attain speeds approaching 160 km (100 miles) per hour, the smaller, lighter two person sleds are only slightly slower. A race consists of four descents by each team, the total time for the four heats determining the winner. Electric timing equipment measures elapsed time to 0.01 second.By the 1950s, the critical importance of the start had been recognized and athletes with explosive strength from other sports were drawn to bobsledding. In 1952, a critical rule change limiting the total weight of crew and sled ended the era of the super heavyweight bobsledder and rebalanced the sport as an athletic contest.Download Bobsleigh Application NOW! it's FREE!
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