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Skeleton

Drive a one-person sled in a prone, head-first position down an ice track.

Skeleton is a winter sport in which competitors aim to drive a one-person sled in a prone, head-first position down an ice track in the fastest time. This differs from luge, where the rider drives the sled from a supine, feet-first orientation. Top speeds attained in skeleton are approximately 130 km/h (80 mph) and are slightly slower than in luge. This Olympic sport is known in some parts of the world as tobogganing. It takes its name from the stripped-down sled, which originally was a bare frame, like a skeleton. There is also a theory about the name that it is a mispronunciation of the Norwegian word 'kjelke' which signifies sled or luge.

Skeleton is the oldest competitive sledding sport. It originates from St. Moritz, Switzerland, where in 1884 the Cresta run was built by Major Bulpetts. When the Winter Olympic Games were held there in 1928 and 1948, the event was included in the program. Skeleton was added to the Olympic program beginning with the 2002 Games.

Olympic rules
* Skeleton must use the same track as bobsleigh and luge, at least 1200 m (1312 yards) long
* A run begins with a running "thrust" phase (typically 25 to 40 metres)
* After thrusting, the athlete leaps onto the sled and descends down the track
* Athletes must lay prone, facing downhill, with arms at their sides
* Only the force produced by the athlete and the force of gravity are permitted to propel the skeleton
* The skeleton must be steered by movements of the athlete's body
* The blades on the sled cannot be heated prior to the beginning of the event

Tracks

Most races take place on man-made ice surfaces, though some natural ice tracks, such as St. Moritz, are still used.

Sleds

Sled standards are specified by the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Toboganning (FIBT).

Equipment worn by athletes

* alpine racing pads
* baggy racing suit
* spiked shoes, similar to track spikes
* sunglasses
* optional elbow,shoulder pads over their suits


Source: Wikipedia


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