Bobsleigh

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Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled that are combined to calculate the final score.

The various types of sleds came several years before the first tracks were built in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where the original bobsleds were adapted upsized luge/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, hotel owner Caspar Badrutt, owner of the historic Krup Hotel and the later Palace Hotel, built the first familiarly configured 'half-pipe' track circa 1870. It has hosted the sports during two Olympics and is still in use today.

International bobsleigh competitions are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT). National competitions are often governed by bodies such as the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

Contents

History

Although sledding on snow or ice had been popular in many northern countries, bobsleighing is a relatively modern sport. It originates from two crestas (skeleton sleds) being attached together with a board and a steering mechanism being attached to the front cresta. English tourists were crossed with the successful marketing and vision of hotelman Caspar Badrutt in the mineral spa town of St. Moritz, Switzerland. Badrutt had recently successfully 'sold' the idea of 'winter resorting' to some of his English regulars using a wager as bait for he was annoyed with a four month long season for the rooms, food, alcohol and activities he sold. A year or two later some of his more adventuresome English guests began adapting boys' delivery sleds for recreation and began colliding with pedestrians whilst speeding down the village's lanes and alleys and roads.[citation needed]

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