Bobsleigh is often referred to as the "Formula One race on ice", and is an event filled with speed and thrills. Sleighs race down a course with a total length of 1360 m and a vertical drop of 113 m. There track has two uphill sections, the first track in the world to do so, and there are 15 curves. The two-man sleighs reach maximum speeds of around 125 km/h, while four-man sleighs reach blistering speeds of approximately 130 km/h.
In the start dash when competitors push the sleigh, it is important to gather as much speed as possible. The competitors push the sleigh for approximately 50 to 60 m. It is difficult to board the sleigh, and if the timing of the racers is out it will result in a loss of time. Once the sleigh is sliding, the pilot, sitting up the front, has the chance to show his skill. By gripping the steering wheel, the pilot controls the runners (steel-edged) beneath the sleigh to avoid contact with the ice wall and to select the running line through the curves.
As the sleighs go faster with a heavier total weight, there are restrictions on the total weight of the sleighs and crew members. The two-man sleigh has a maximum weight of 390 kg, and the four-man 630 kg. Although a light crew can add weights, the sleigh is harder to push start, putting them at a disadvantage.
Medals are decided on a total of four runs.
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