Canadian
Medals
Gold Silver Bronze
2 4 1

Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh  
Watch these events

(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For IBSF)

 

Men's 2-man

Women's 2-man

4-man

What's this sport all about:

Bobsleigh or bobsled? Well, both are correct. Generally, in Canada we say "bobsledders who sled on bobsleds," while bobsleigh is the official name of the Olympic sport.

Most bobsleds are built to hold two to four athletes, but one-person bobsleds — monobobs —are starting to gain in popularity. The 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer featured monobob events.

Bobsleigh was invented by the Swiss in the late 1860s, when they attached two skeleton sleds together and added a steering mechanism to make a toboggan.

The original wood sleds were replaced by steel ones, which became known as "bobsleds" because of the way the athletes bobbed back and forth to increase their speed at the start. Modern sleds are made of fibreglass and steel.

To steer a sled, the driver pulls a rope with their right hand to go right or a different rope with their left hand to go left.

When to watch

First day
of events:
FEB 18
Last day
of events:
FEB 25
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Things to watch for

Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden of Canada at the Olympic Bobsleigh Run in Innsbruck/Igls. (JOHANN GRODER/AFP/Getty Images)

Bunks: That's what they call those wing-like pieces on the front and the back of a bobsled. They keep the body of the bobsled from hitting the walls of ice on the course.

​Canadian 4-man team in 2018. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For IBSF)

Pushers: A 4-man bobsled is very heavy so there are two extra athletes, called pushers, who help do just what their name says — push the sled. They sit between the pilot and the brakeman.

An aerial photo shows a general view of the bobsleigh and luge venues in Pyeongchang. (ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

The track: The Olympic bobsleigh track is designed with lots of curves. There's the Labyrinth — part of the track with a three-turn combination — and there are Kreisels — turns that curve back on themselves.

Go Further

Canada's Medal History

Look at us winning gold medals and making history

Big sports quiz

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Games

Olympic Mascot Colouring Book

Winter sport differences

What are the differences between bobsled, luge and skeleton?