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The U.S. bobsled team was on top of the world after claiming gold and bronze medals at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Yet the current roster is stronger, faster and hungrier for gold than ever before.
The U.S. has continued a tradition of transitioning winning brakemen into winning drivers, which has resulted in start records around the world due to powerful contributions off the block from strong pilots.
It wasn’t immediately evident who would emerge as Team USA’s next medal contender after the Vancouver Games. Now, one year away from the 2014 Games, it’s difficult to choose just one, as all six pilots in the program have medaled in World Cup competition. Ranking teams as USA-1, USA-2 and USA-3 has become a difficult task with crews exchanging positions on the podium each week. The goal for the men and women to sweep the podium in Sochi is becoming a reality.
The U.S. is also collaborating with sponsor BMW on sled technology. A sport contested to the hundredths of a second not only requires the most skilled pilots and most powerful push athletes in the world, but also the fastest sled. BMW has already delivered a two-man bobsled prototype to the U.S. team, and the two organizations are collaborating with the athletes and coaches to create the best equipment in the world.
The Olympic bobsled competition will consist of four runs held over a two-day period, with two runs completed each day. Medals are awarded based on total time over the four runs, with the winner having the lowest overall time. If two teams complete the competition in a tie, they are awarded the same place. The program features three events, including men’s and women’s two-person competitions and the men’s four-man event.
The bobsled competition will be held at the Sliding Center Sanki, a 9,000-seat facility situated at the Alpika Service Mountain Ski Resort with a finishing area at Rzhanaya Polyana. State-of-the-art ice preparation technology ensures optimum temperature control along the entire length of the track.
Nations will qualify based on international standings during the 2013-14 season. The U.S. is guaranteed one spot in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, but can qualify up to three in each gender based on points during the qualification period that ends Jan. 19, 2014. In both men’s events, a total of 30 crews will compete, while the women’s competition will include 20 crews.
The selection criteria will be finalized in early 2013, but athletes will likely qualify based on international points. For example, if the U.S. qualifies two women for the Sochi Games, then the top-two U.S. women in international points will qualify for the Olympic Team.
|Feb. 11-17||World Cup||Sochi, Russia|
|October||Team selection races|
|November-February||World Cup races|