No bones about
it, Skeleton is the event which is likely to take your breath away
- as athletes speed face down on their sleds, staring death square
in the face as the force of gravity shoots them literally headlong
at 80 mph around some of the sharpest and iciest corners in sport.
known about the early origins of skeleton, but the first documented
dare devils to execute it was at St. Moritz in 1887, a natural
evolution of tobogganing and bobsleighing so popular at the time.
skeleton runs were natural tracks, but later the straight downhill
courses were modified by adding curves to make the sport more
of the prone skeleton position resulted in incredible speeds,
and soon everyone was competing in the same way, leading to the
evolution of a lighter weight and streamlined sled dubbed the
"skeleton" today resembling nothing more than an oversized
first appeared in the Olympic program in 1928, and then again
in 1948, both times in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The sport returned
to Olympics again at Salt Lake City in 2002 when local favorite
skeleton champ Jimmy
Shea, Jr. took home the gold.
February 2018 Olympic Skeleton Schedule & Medal Events
DID YOU KNOW? Olympic skeleton fun facts
Racing down the Olympic skeleton track
at speeds reaching 80 miles per hour.
• "Sled head" is the term for skeleton riders who have suffered too many concussions. Skeleton riders on rough tracks and whose heads are exposed to knocks along the wall can do serious damage to their craniums if they're not careful.
• Reaching speeds at upwards of 80 mph, racers can experience 5G of pressure (equivalent to a space shuttle takeoff) in almost all of 14 to 17 turns that make up a skeleton track.
• It's often debated which one is the most exciting sport - luge or skeleton? The most visible difference between the two sports is that luge racers go feet first. Skeleton athletes go face first -- with their chins one inch from the ice surface.