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bobsledding, winter sport in which a bobsled—a partially enclosed vehicle with steerable sledlike runners, accommodating two or four persons—hurtles down a course of iced, steeply banked, twisting inclines. A driver and three bobbers, the last one being the brakeman, compose a four-member crew. A two-person sled consists of a driver and the brakeman. A group of American and English vacationers at St. Moritz, Switzerland, developed the sport, an offspring of tobogganing, in the late 19th cent. A part of the Winter Olympic games since their inception in 1924, bobsledding is a sport of exhilarating but dangerous speed (up to 90 mi/145 km per hr). Winners rely on technical sled design, powerful push-offs at the start, and intimate course knowledge to gain split second advantages. Though Americans fared well in early Olympic bobsledding, since 1960, the Swiss, Germans, Italians, and Austrians have tended to dominate the medals. Women's bobsledding was added to the Olympics in 2002.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the rapid descent from a mountain along specially formed runs on steered sleds (called bobsleds). The all-metal, streamlined sleds are made up of hinged parts. The front part is movable and provided with a steering wheel; the back part is immobile and fitted with a brake. Races take place in special runs, or ice troughs, 1,500 to 2,000 m long, with five to eight turns. In descent, sleds reach speeds higher than 100 km per hr. Two-man sleds (length no more than 2.7 m, weight no more than 165 kg, and weight of the team no more than 200 kg) are distinguished from four-man sleds (whose corresponding measurements are 3.8 m, 230 kg, and 400 kg). Bobsledding as a type of sport originated at the end of the 19th century in Switzerland and spread to Sweden, Rumania, Poland, the USA, and other countries. In 1924 bobsledding was included in the program of the Olympic Games. The world champion (1968) and champion of the Tenth Olympic Games (1968, in Grenoble) was the Italian team of E. Monti and L. de Paolis; this team, R. Zandonella, and M. Armano were champions on the four-man sled. In 1923 the International Federation of Bobsleds and Toboggans (FIBT) was founded. There is no bobsledding in the USSR.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Though she hopes bobsledding is in her immediate future, Henry's long-term plan still includes the hammer.
I want to transfer that to the kids," said Sergeant Profitt, who volunteers about seven hours a week assisting with the NAC skiing and bobsledding programs.
I've got to prove I'm more worthy bobsledding than in work fixing aircraft navigation systems.
"My first push was a little weird, but coming from bobsledding, it wasn't much different," said Jackson.
Why do they like bobsledding? Joy says, "I just like it.
The Salt Lake Organizing Committee must test its venues before the Games arrive, so more than a dozen events--from bobsledding and figure skating to freestyle aerobatics and downhill racing--are scheduled.
Other materials tried for this application either could not stand up to the rigors of bobsledding or proved to be too expensive.
Resembling an arcade ride, this saddle-up-and-sled simulator recreates the perceptual experience and many of the physical sensations of competitive bobsledding on specific courses.
"Hyundai Motor has helped us in various fields since 2014, when bobsledding was unfamiliar to Koreans," an official of the federation said.
But it did happen to American bobsledder Johnny Quinn who was in the news last week for using his bobsledding training to destroy the door of his hotel bathroom that refused to open.
8-9), you read about how engineers redesigned the sled Team USA will use in the Olympic sport of bobsledding. Luge is a similar sport, in which participants lie fiat on a small sled.