Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: bobsleighing from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Sport of racing steel-bodied, steerable toboggans, crewed by two or four people, down mountain ice-chutes at speeds of up to 80 mph/130 kph. It was introduced as an Olympic event for men in 1924 and for women in 2002. The World Championships have been held every year since 1931, and in Olympic years winners automatically become world champions.


International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation


bobsleigh team

Summary Article: bobsledding
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

winter sport in which a bobsled—a partially enclosed vehicle with steerable sledlike runners, accommodating two or four persons—hurtles down a course of iced, steeply banked, twisting inclines. A driver and three bobbers, the last one being the brakeman, compose a four-member crew. A two-person sled consists of a driver and the brakeman. A group of American and English vacationers at St. Moritz, Switzerland, developed the sport, an offspring of tobogganing, in the late 19th cent. A part of the Winter Olympic games since their inception in 1924, bobsledding is a sport of exhilarating but dangerous speed (up to 90 mi/145 km per hr). Winners rely on technical sled design, powerful push-offs at the start, and intimate course knowledge to gain split second advantages. Though Americans fared well in early Olympic bobsledding, since 1960, the Swiss, Germans, Italians, and Austrians have tended to dominate the medals. Women's bobsledding was added to the Olympics in 2002.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article bobsledding
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

The sport of racing bobsleds (also called bobsleighs or bobs), which was developed by British sportsmen at St Moritz (Switzerland) in the late...

See more from Credo