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IT'S TIME TO ROLL AND FEEL

IT'S TIME TO ROLL AND FEEL

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WHAT IS THE SKELETON? AN EXTREME OLYMPIC SPORT

Find out what is the skeleton racing.

The Winter Olympics boasts a variety of extreme sports, and among them, one stands out as particularly distinctive: skeleton racing

Athletes propel themselves headfirst down a slick, icy track, reaching speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour. Ahead of its reappearance in the global spotlight at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, here’s all the essential information you need to know about this thrilling sport!

What is skeleton racing?

Skeleton is a thrilling and fast-paced winter sport that involves athletes hurtling down a track on a sled. The athletes, also known as skeleton sliders, start by dashing and leaping onto the sled face-down, with their chin resting on the sled and their arms extended forward. Once on the sled, they use their legs and shoulders to steer and control their descent.

The track used for skeleton is a specially designed ice track with banked corners and straight sections. These tracks can be extremely challenging, with twists, turns, and high speeds that test the athletes’ skill, agility, and bravery.

As the athletes slide down the track, they experience incredible speeds, often reaching over 80 miles per hour. The combination of high speeds and the face-down position on the sled creates an exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping experience.

To navigate the track successfully, skeleton sliders need to have precise control over their sled. They use their legs to apply pressure on the ice to steer, with slight shifts in body weight allowing them to maneuver through the corners. By using their shoulders, they can make subtle adjustments to maintain their balance and control their speed.

The sport requires immense physical strength and endurance as well. Athletes need to have powerful leg muscles to generate the necessary force to steer effectively. Additionally, they must possess strong core muscles to maintain stability and balance while hurtling down the track at high speeds.

Risks of the Skeleton Racing

Skeleton is not without its risks and dangers. The combination of high speeds, tight corners, and the potential for crashes makes it a sport that demands exceptional skill and courage. Athletes wear protective gear such as helmets and padded suits to minimize the risk of injuries during their runs.

Competitive skeleton races are held at various levels, from local events to international championships. Athletes are judged based on their speed, technique, and overall time. The fastest time from the top of the track to the finish line determines the winner.

Overall, skeleton is an exhilarating and challenging winter sport that combines speed, agility, and bravery. Athletes must possess exceptional physical abilities and mental focus to navigate the icy track successfully and reach top speeds. It is a sport that captivates both participants and spectators alike with its thrilling and high-adrenaline nature. It closely resembles luge, but with the athlete racing headfirst rather than on their back.

At the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, the skeleton is one of the three sliding sports, alongside luge and bobsleigh. The competition comprises only two events – men’s and women’s singles – resulting in intense competition for the limited number of medals available.

In both the men’s and women’s competitions, athletes undertake four runs spread over two days, with their combined times determining the winner.

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Origins of skeleton 

Skeleton originated from the traditional winter pastime of sledding, which traces its roots back to 19th-century Switzerland. The sleds used in this activity were commonly known as “skeletons”.

The sport of skeleton debuted at the Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948 in St. Moritz. However, it then disappeared from the Olympic program for 52 years.

It made a comeback to the Olympic program at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and has remained a part of the Winter Games ever since.

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Which country is the best in skeleton?

Great Britain holds the most Olympic medals in skeleton, with 9, closely followed by the United States with 8. Among the notable athletes, Lizzy Yarnold from Team GB stands out with two gold medals, earned at the Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 Games.

Most popular names in skeleton

For the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Games, attention will be on Yarnold’s teammate Laura Deas, who secured bronze in 2018. She faces stiff competition from Jacqueline Loelling, the runner-up at the 2021 World Championships, and Tina Hermann, also from Germany, who finished fourth.

China’s prospects include Zhao Dan, who placed seventh at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics, and Lin Huiyang, achieving the best-ever result for China’s women’s team by finishing 13th at the World Championships.

Historically, the host nations have had an edge in men’s skeleton, with the gold medal going to the host country in the last three Olympics. Representing China will be Yan Wengang and Chen Wenhao, although their recent World Cup performances were modest. The question remains whether the home court advantage will propel them to the podium.

They’ll contend with strong competitors like 2018 gold medalist Yun Sung-bin from South Korea and Martins Dukurs from Latvia, a six-time world champion and double Olympic silver medalist.

Do you dare to try it?

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