With the Winter Olympics quickly approaching, here’s everything you need to know about bobsled (or as they say outside of North America: bobsleigh).
Two-man, women's, and four-man events all take place on back-to-back days between Feb. 18-24. A more detailed look at the bobsled schedule can be found here.
SI published a Rookie’s Guide to Bobsled in December with details on the history of the sport, team strategy, frequency of crashes, and more. The most important part of bobsled comes right at the beginning, when the driver, brakeman and two crew members (four-man event only) sprint with sled toward the start of the track, trying to build up as much speed as they can. One by one they lift themselves into the sled just before it begins hurtling down the course. In a sport decided by hundredths of a second, one misstep can completely remove a team from medal consideration.
To be clear, speed is the name of the game. In all three disciplines of bobsled, each team gets four runs down the course over two days. The fastest aggregate (combined) time between the four runs decides the medal winners.
Since our rookie's guide was published, Lauren Gibbs and Aja Evans were named as the push athletes to join Team USA drivers Elana Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel Poser in their sleds. SI also caught up with Evans to chronicle her journey and relationship with a sport that lacks any sort of prominence in the United States.
In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of Sports Illustrated, our expert on the games, Brian Cazeneuve, gave his medal predictions. Here are his bobsled picks:
- Gold: Germany (driver: Francesco Friedrich)
- Silver: Canada (driver: Justin Kripps)
- Bronze: Germany (driver: Johannes Lochner)
Kripps was born in Naalehu, Hawaii.
- Gold: Germany (driver: Johannes Lochner)
- Silver: Germany (driver: Nico Walther)
- Bronze: Germany (driver: Francesco Friedrich)
Friedrich’s brother David spent three months in a coma after a sled crash in 2005.
- Gold: Canada (driver: Kaillie Humphries)
- Silver: U.S. (driver: Elana Meyers Taylor)
- Bronze: Germany (driver: Stephanie Schneider)
Meyers Taylor’s husband, bobsledder NicTaylor, proposed while she was on a podium.
Check out Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.