olympic title

A la carte
Photo Album
From the Olympics Toward Tomorrow

Shinano Mainichi
Shinano Mainichi




Bobsleigh / Luge Track

"Spiral" Asakawa, Nagano City

The Bobsleigh/Luge Track "Spiral" for the '98 Nagano Winter Olympics constructed in Asakawa, Nagano City by the City was handed over by the construction company to Nagano City on April 3, 1996.

Spiral was constructed in a 18-hectare wooded area on a northeast-facing mountain. The 1,700 m track encompasses 15 curves, and has a vertical drop of 113 m. Approximately 10,000 spectators are able to view the races during the Olympics from positions along the track. Two start houses (both wooden two-story structures) and a control tower (three-story reinforced concrete structure) were also constructed. Construction started in November 1993, and the total cost of the facility was 9.3 billion yen.

World Cup Bobsleigh events at Nagano
World Cup Bobsleigh events at Nagano
(Feb. 20, 1997)

The ice on the track will be made using the indirect freezing method, the first time in the world a bobsleigh/luge facility has used such a method. An ammonium medium will be used to cool an antifreeze agent in machine houses, which will then be pumped through the pipes on the bottom of the track. In contrast to conventional direct freezing methods which pump ammonia through the pipes, ammonia will not leak even if the track is damaged, making this method environmentally friendly.

Bob-luge course

Ice temperature is controlled automatically by computer at 56 spots on the track. As the temperature rises due to sunlight, the track is automatically cooled, ensuring a uniform quality of ice is maintained.

A park will be created in the surrounding area, and after the Games it will be used as an event facility and a leisure facility. The incorporation of rolling vehicles as a ride for summer is also under review.

Related News

Art of ice-making key to many Olympic winter sports (1998.2.2)
Bobsleigh drivers' skills to be tested by Spiral (1998.1.24)
Nagano Olympic luge course an uphill battle for all (1998.1.20)

Unauthorized reproduction of articles, photographs or illustrations is prohibited.
Copyright 1999 The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun