Germans have a vast selection of winter sports available to them, ranging from skiing to snowboarding to ski jumping to bobsledding. In fact, Germans are highly talented in bobsleigh. This weekend marks the final races of the 2017-2018 Bobsleigh World Cup in Königssee, Germany. Top bobsleigh and skeleton sled athletes will go on to represent their countries in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The top forty sleds qualify for the Olympics!
Bobsleigh is a sport in which two or four teammates race down an icy track in a sled, with the goal of getting down the fastest. Skeleton is a similar sport, but it only involves a single rider on a small sled. The reported world record speed for bobsledding is 125 mph!
So far this season, Germans have already won 11 gold medals in bobsleigh and 27 total medals – more than any other country. Canada is currently in second place with five gold medals and 14 total. The United States is listed third with three gold medals and 14 total.
Although Germans are talented and enthusiastic about the sport, bobsleigh was actually invented in Switzerland in the late 19th century. The first time a bobsleigh competition was held at the Winter Games was in 1924 in Chamonix, but this was limited to a four-man competition. A two-man competition was held for the first time at the 1932 Games in Lake Placid, NY. Once Germans discovered the sport, they only grew better at it: since the 1990s, Germany has dominated in international competition, having taken home more medals than any other country in the world. Will Germany take home more gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Keep your fingers crossed!
By Nicole Glass, German Embassy