Winter Olympic Games: Skeleton

The skeleton is a winter sport that involves an athlete who slides down a steep ice rink with his head down on a sled. The sledges have a bony and skeletal appearance, hence the name Skeleton. Sport is still called by its original name, sledding, in many countries. Unlike other winter sports such as sled and bob, only one athlete competes in a single particular moment in the skeleton. The race begins with the athlete starting from the beginning of the ice rink before starting to slide on their sledges. The slides must be made of steel, however, the plastic can be used to create the base of the sled. On the sled side there are handles and bumpers to increase the athlete’s safety during the race.

History of the winter Olympic skeleton

The skeleton was first practiced by English soldiers in 1882. British soldiers built a toboggan run with curves and curves between the cities of Davos and Klosters, which they used to run against them. Major William Bulpett and Casper Badrutt built a Cresta race in 1884. The Cr Cresta Run mile was built in 1884, between the cities of St Moritz and Celerina. The Cresta race has ten laps and is still used until today. In fact, the Cresta race was used in the Winter Olympics of 1928 and 1948.

In 1887, the first toboggan was introduced by Mr. Cornish and adapted by many other pilots. In 1892, LP Child designed the first skeleton-like sled. Until 1905, sport was practiced mainly in Switzerland. The International Federation of Bobsleigh et Tobogganing was founded in 1923 to meet and govern the skeleton. Although the sport continued to spread, it was not added to the list of Olympic sports until 2002. After 2002, the popularity of the skeleton has increased with some countries whose climate cannot allow the formation of ice even participating in sport.

Skeleton Racing Rules

In order for an athlete to be able to participate in skeleton competitions, it is necessary to have an alpine racing helmet consisting of a chin guard, a tight running costume, glasses, elbows and shoulder pads, spiked shoes and a sled. The maximum weight of the sled must be 43 kg for men and 35 kg for women. The combined weight of the athlete and the racing equipment should not exceed 115 kg for men and 92 kg for women. If the weight exceeds the maximum, the weight of the men’s sled is reduced to 33 kg and the weight of the women’s sled is reduced to 29 kg. However, to reach maximum weight, athletes can add ballast weights. The athlete should cross the finish line while still on the sled. However, they can leave the sledges a little before the finish and pull or push.


Skeletal races can be dangerous and in some cases caused a loss of life. The speed with which runners move can cause fatal accidents. Nodar Kumaritashvili, a Georgian athlete, lost control during training and hit steel objects. He suffered serious injuries and later succumbed to death. Other deaths caused by the sport include Ross Milne and Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski in 1964 and Nicholas Bochatay in 1992.


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