It’s the Formula 1
of the Winter Olympics. So what do we know
about this daredevil sport? It might surprise you to learn that one of the most
adventurous sports on the planet wasn’t
originally a sport at all. Before the Jamaican
bobsleigh team made it cool, bobsleighs were
actually invented to ferry wealthy visitors around the posh
ski resort of St Moritz. They were literally
too posh to push. Soon, people couldn’t resist
racing them around the streets, so before someone
got seriously hurt, the first official track was
built at the Kulm Hotel park, ending in the village
of Cresta. This track ended up
hosting the sliding events at two Winter Olympic games
and is still in use today. Modern bobsleigh tracks
are made of concrete and then coated with ice. That sounds pretty scary
just saying it – concrete coated with ice, the two hardest substances
known to man. There’s actually a lot
of technology going on to make sure it’s safe
for all the athletes. First, the design of the track
is modelled on a computer. Then it is simulated
in a laboratory in order to measure accurately
the amount of friction that’ll be created between
the sled and the ice when travelling
at high, high speeds. Basically, this means
they can calculate the maximum speed
a sled can reach. The designers take into
account numerous factors, even the differences
in the ice itself. The ice in Canada,
for example, is different to the
ice in Russia, which is different to the ice
in Hawaii because it – because it had melted.
It’s like a little joke. It doesn’t matter. Then the track is constructed
out of reinforced concrete with evaporators embedded
in it to cool the track to exactly minus 11 degrees. Not minus 10. Not minus 12. Minus 11. The track is then
sprayed with water to create a layer
of ice two inches thick. Like snowflakes, no two courses
are exactly the same, but there are certain elements
that each course has to have. They are required to have
at least one straight section and one section made up of
three turns in quick succession. This is known as a labyrinth. A modern track should be
1,200 to 1,300 metres long and have at least 15 curves. The most distinguishing
feature of the tracks is the Petersen turn. The 180-degree turn with
a 270-degree bank angle is a compulsory feature
on all Olympic runs and is named after
pioneering track designer Heidi Petersen. These tracks
are so specialised, there are currently
just 16 in the world. All of them are
artificially cooled with ammonia refrigeration,
with the exception of St Moritz,
the very first track, which is still naturally
cooled. Of these,
the track at Lake Placid is considered the most
technically demanding, featuring 20 tricky
turns, the most for any competitive
sliding track. The fastest track in the
world is in Whistler, built for
the 2010 Winter Games. It is also the steepest
track in the world, featuring a vertical
drop of 148 metres. That’s like jumping out
of a 10-storey window in a bobsleigh
with Lycra for fun. Getting the track spot-on
is essential. As we’ve said, speeds can
exceed 120km per hour, and some curves can subject
the crews to 5G of force. That’s similar
to a fighter pilot – I mean, a fighter
pilot wearing Lycra. The crew is made up
of a pilot, a brakeman, and in the four-man
bob, two pushers. Athletes are selected based
on their speed and strength. Pilots must have the skill,
timing, and finesse to steer the sleigh along
the path or line that’ll produce the greatest speed. If you think you’ve got
what it takes, you’re in luck. Several tracks offer
tourist rides in bobsleighs, so if you fancy yourself as the
next Shauna Rohbock or Pierre Lueders – those are two famous
bobsleighers, but I mean, you knew that – now is your chance. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this edition of “Burning Questions”. Don’t forget to leave your Burning Question in the comments!

How do you make a Bobsleigh track? | Burning Questions
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49 thoughts on “How do you make a Bobsleigh track? | Burning Questions

  • February 13, 2018 at 12:01 am
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    1

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:06 am
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    Ayyyy

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:07 am
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    Cool video I love the olympics

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:15 am
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    Labratory

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:21 am
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    Bobsled, not bobsleigh!!!!!

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:27 am
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    Been a dream of mine to try bobsledding, No idea were to get started. Is there even anywere near me to try it? (Ottawa Canada)

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:27 am
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    You didn't answer the question.

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:27 am
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    Ruim de mais assistir ao vivo as olimpíadas no site oficial olímpico,porque não coloca a live no YouTube direto?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:40 am
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    I love bobshelding

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:43 am
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    Jack Black?????

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  • February 13, 2018 at 1:04 am
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    Generation X,Y, and Z don't care about the Olympics. They been playing it for years as a video game. Crowds are way down.

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  • February 13, 2018 at 1:18 am
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    Sanka…….ya dead?

    Ya Man..

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  • February 13, 2018 at 1:59 am
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    So these tracks go to -11?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 2:14 am
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    Where do I reconize this guy from?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 3:11 am
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    The Football Republic

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  • February 13, 2018 at 3:49 am
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    is bobsleigh short for bobsleighthan?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 4:53 am
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    this guy thinks he's funny but he's not

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  • February 13, 2018 at 4:55 am
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    28th

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  • February 13, 2018 at 6:24 am
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    so… how do they actually build it???

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  • February 13, 2018 at 8:17 am
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    Interesting facts, but just not funny :/

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  • February 13, 2018 at 8:46 am
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    How are outdoor snowboarding tracks made? Do they build a frame up underneath and pack snow on top, or are the sides pure snow?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm
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    그게문제가아니야 쇼트트랙에서 우리민정이 밀었어…

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  • February 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm
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    Burning question…
    I don't know maybe about Triathlon, my sport 🙂

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  • February 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm
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    I love this guy

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  • February 13, 2018 at 7:28 pm
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    We are into business. Give 6 months we are starting to move.

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  • February 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm
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    Interesting information, but how do you make a Bobsleigh track? And please stop with all these ridiculous jokes

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  • February 13, 2018 at 9:40 pm
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    they really need to find a new host

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  • February 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm
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    …and I don’t think it’s a sport, now.

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  • February 15, 2018 at 12:32 am
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    What's that song in the beginning

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  • February 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm
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    And germany wins everytime

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  • February 16, 2018 at 1:27 am
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    That was painful to watch.

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  • February 17, 2018 at 11:10 am
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    How much does it cost building such a track ?

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  • February 18, 2018 at 4:29 am
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    So the "pushers", do they sell meth and ssteroids to the driver and break man? Would the team with the most pure meth be the favorite?

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  • February 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm
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    Concrete and ice, the two hardest substances known to man? uhhhhh….

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  • February 19, 2018 at 3:01 pm
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    Mistake: the Swiss bobsled track started in St. Moritz and ended in CELERINA. Cresta is the original name of a Swiss sport that is actually now Skeleton.

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  • February 20, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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    Go Grimbsy!!

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  • February 22, 2018 at 1:32 am
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    Burning Questions? It would melt the track

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  • February 22, 2018 at 5:15 am
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    I have an odd stupid question, in metric system countries is a story of a building still 10 feet/3.05 meeters. Sorry, stupid American

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  • February 22, 2018 at 5:06 pm
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    Concrete and ice are not the hardest substances known to man…

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  • March 2, 2018 at 12:14 am
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    Here’s a 251 second video that doesn’t explain how a bobsleigh track is made!

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  • March 2, 2018 at 10:40 am
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    i kinda thought this was gonna be one of those in depth videos were you watch them make a track

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  • March 4, 2018 at 6:31 pm
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    I don’t think he realizes that ice and concrete are not the hardest substances known to man…

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  • March 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm
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    So why do the pushers need to get in the sleigh?

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  • March 7, 2018 at 9:27 pm
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    Lloyd from tfr

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  • March 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm
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    Pfff! 140°? Seriously? i went on a water ride in Germany with a drop of 153°!

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  • March 28, 2018 at 5:46 am
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    The role of the pilot is pretty obvious. But what do the pushers and brakeman do during the run?

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  • April 15, 2018 at 12:55 am
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    When we went to Whistler for a holiday, we got to see that track. Very cool lol

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  • August 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm
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    What I know about Bobsleighing: Noone's as good at it as the Germans. Partly because they have four out of those 16 tracks.

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  • December 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm
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    "Concrete, coated with ice. The two hardest substances known to man" AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

    Reply

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