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USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Bobsled and skeleton tracks around the world

Bobsled and skeleton tracks aren't very common. They can't be constructed just anywhere, like a basketball gym or a baseball field. In fact, there are still continents that don't have any of these icy chutes (Africa, Antarctica, Australia and South America.) Until the construction of the sliding center in Pyeongchang, which will be the home of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the tracks in Sochi, Russia and Nagano, Japan will remain the only two in Asia, the largest continent on planet Earth. The United States, a country which has dominated recent bobsled and skeleton Olympic events, has only two tracks (Lake Placid, New York and Park City, Utah.) The Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) currently recognizes only 16 tracks around the world that are sanctioned to host FIBT competition and training. This article will serve as your guide through each of the 16 bobsled and skeleton tracks around the world.

Sochi, Russia

Home of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and situated on the Russian Riviera, the Sanki Sliding Center features the newest sliding track. The course travels 1,500 meters in length, with a vertical drop of 131 meters, making it one of the biggest ice roller coasters in the world.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Russia - Alexandr Zubkov, Dmitry Trunenkov, Alexey Negodaylo, Alexey Voyevoda 
SILVER: Latvia - Oskars Melbārdis, Arvis Vilkaste, Daumants Dreiškens, Jānis Strenga 
BRONZE: United States - Steven Holcomb, Steven Langton, Curtis Tomasevicz, Christopher Fogt 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Russia - Alexey Voyevoda and Alexandr Zubkov 
SILVER: Switzerland - Alex Baumann and Beat Hefti 
BRONZE: United States - Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton 

Women: 
GOLD: Canada - Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse 
SILVER: United States - Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams 
BRONZE: United States - Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans 

Skeleton 

Men: 
GOLD: Russia - Alexander Tretiakov 
SILVER: Latvia - Martins Dukurs 
BRONZE: United States - Matthew Antoine 

Women:  
GOLD: Great Britain - Lizzy Yarnold  
SILVER: United States - Noelle Pikus-Pace  
BRONZE: Russia - Elena Nikitina

 

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Home to the only natural track in the world that hosts international competition, the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun extends down its icy chute for 1,722 meters, dropping 130 meters at an average grade of 8.14%. St. Moritz, the birthplace of bobsled and skeleton, has hosted 17 FIBT World Championships, as well as the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympic Games.

1928 St. Moritz Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Five-man: 

GOLD: United States - William Fiske, Nion Tocker, Geoffrey Mason, Clifford Grey, Richard Parke 
SILVER: United States - Jennison Heaton, David Granger, Lyman Hine, Thomas Doe, Jay O'Brien 
BRONZE: Germany - Hanns Kilian, Hans Hess, Sebastian Huber, Valentin Krempl, Hanns Nägle 

Two-man: 
No competition.  

Women: 
No competition.  

Skeleton 

Men: 
GOLD: United States - Jennison Heaton 
SILVER: United States - John Heaton 
BRONZE: Great Britain - David Carnegie 

Women:  
No competition.
  

1948 St. Moritz Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled 

Four-man: 
GOLD: United States - Francis Tyler, Patrick Martin, Edward Rimkus, William D'Amico 
SILVER: Belgium - Max Houben, Freddy Mansveld, Louis-Georges Niels, Jacques Mouvet 
BRONZE: United States - James Bickford, Thomas Hicks, Donald Dupree, William Dupree 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Switzerland - Felix Endrich and Friedrich Waller 
SILVER: Switzerland - Fritz Feierabend and Paul Eberhard 
BRONZE: United States - Frederick Fortune and Schuyler Carron 

Women: 

No competition.  

Skeleton 

Men: 
GOLD: Italy - Nino Bibbia 
SILVER: United States - John Heaton 
BRONZE: Great Britain - John Crammond 

Women: 
No competition.
 

Altenberg, Germany

Considered one of the most difficult tracks in the world, the track in Altenberg has hosted the FIBT World Championships three times (1991, 2000 and 2008.) Sliders maneuver the icy chute for 1,413.2 meters at a downward grade of 15%.

No Winter Olympic Games have been held in Alternberg.



Calgary, Canada

Boasting views of the city’s skyline, this track is one of the most utilized tracks in the world, hosting annual North American Cup and World Cup races. Originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, the sliding center hosted the 1996 and 2005 World Championships.

1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Switzerland - Ekkehard Fasser, Kurt Meier, Marcel Fässler, Werner Stocker 
SILVER: East Germany - Wolfgang Hoppe, Dietmar Schauerhammer, Bogdan Musiol, Ingo Voge 
BRONZE: Soviet Union - Jānis Ķipurs, Guntis Osis, Juris Tone, Vladimir Koslov 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Soviet Union - Jānis Ķipurs and Vladimir Koslov 
SILVER: East Germany - Wolfgang Hoppe and Bogdan Musiol 
BRONZE: East Germany - Bernhard Lehmann and Mario Hoyer 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 

No competition. 


Women:  
No competition.

Cesana Pariol, Italy

Built for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games, the Cesana Pariol track slides 1,435 meters, highlighted by a vertical drop of 114 meters. The track, accompanied by its neighboring indoor push facility, makes this an ideal place for athletes to train year-round.

For a first-hand experience from a sled, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZflanBCX0Q

2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Germany - André Lange, René Hoppe, Kevin Kuske, Martin Putze 
SILVER: Russia - Alexey Voyevoda, Alexei Seliverstov, Filipp Yegorov, Alexandr Zubkov 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Martin Annen, Cedric Grand, Thomas Lamparter, Beat Hefti 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Germany - Kevin Kuske and André Lange 
SILVER: Canada - Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Martin Annen and Beat Hefti 

Women: 
GOLD: Germany - Sandra Kiriasis and Anja Schneiderheinze  
SILVER: United States - Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming 
BRONZE: Italy - Gerda Weissensteiner and Jennifer Isacco  

Skeleton 

Men: 

GOLD: Canada – Duff Gibson 
SILVER: Canada – Jeff Pain 
BRONZE: Switzerland – Gregor Stähli 

Women: 
GOLD: Switzerland - Maya Pedersen 
SILVER: Great Britain - Shelley Rudman 
BRONZE: Canada - Mellisa Hollingsworth-Richards

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Host of the 1956 Winter Olympic Games, the track in Northern Italy has accommodated the FIBT World Championships nine times. It was awarded the FIBT World Championship in 2011, but was forced to withdraw, due to its’ inability to accommodate the skeleton competition.  With a maximum downhill grade of 15.9% , the track travels 1,350 meters in distance.

1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Switzerland - Franz Kapus, Gottfried Diener, Robert Alt, Heinrich Angst 
SILVER: Italy - Eugenio Monti, Ulrico Girardi, Renzo Alverà, Renato Mocellini 
BRONZE: United States - Arthur Tyler, William Dodge, Charles Butler, James Lamy 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Germany - Lamberto Dalla Costa and Giacomo Conti 
SILVER: Italy - Eugenio Monti and Renzo Alverà 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Max Angst and Harry Warburton 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women:  
No competition.

Igls, Austria

The Olympic Sliding Centre Innsbruck in Igls has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games (1964 and 1976.) It has also held the FIBT World Championships twice (1963 and 1993.) The 1,220-meter track was one of the first artificially frozen tracks in the world and features a 98.10 meter vertical drop.

1964 Innsbruck Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Canada - Vic Emery, Peter Kirby, Douglas Anakin, John Emery 
SILVER: Austria - Erwin Thaler, Adolf Koxeder, Josef Nairz, Reinhold Durnthaler 
BRONZE: Italy - Eugenio Monti, Sergio Siorpaes, Benito Rigoni, Gildo Siorpaes 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Great Britain - Anthony Nash and Robin Dixon 
SILVER: Italy - Sergio Zardini and Romano Bonagura 
BRONZE: Italy - Eugenio Monti and Sergio Siorpaes 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women: 
No competition.

1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man:

GOLD: East Germany - Meinhard Nehmer, Jochen Babock, Bernhard Germeshausen, Bernhard Lehmann 
SILVER: Switzerland - Erich Schärer, Ulrich Bächli, Rudolf Marti, Joseph Benz 
BRONZE: West Germany - Wolfgang Zimmerer, Peter Utzschneider, Bodo Bittner, Manfred Schumann 

Two-man: 
GOLD: East Germany - Meinhard Nehmer and Bernhard Germeshausen 
SILVER: West Germany - Wolfgang Zimmerer and Manfred Schumann 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Erich Schärer and Joseph Benz 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women:  
No competition.

  

Königssee, Germany

Königssee is located near the border of Austria, along Lake Königssee. The FIBT World Championships has made its way to this popular track five times, including 1990, which was a skeleton-only event. The town features one of Adolf Hitler’s homes, most commonly known as The Eagle’s Nest, which was built for him as a 50th birthday present. Athletes will often visit/climb to this destination. You can see the track from the top of the mountain. For more information on The Eagle’s Nest, please visit http://www.uncommon-travel-germany.com/hitlers-eagles-nest.html.

No Winter Olympic Games have been held in Königssee.



La Plagne, France

This beautiful track is situated perfectly in the French Alps, features a vertical drop of 124.5 meters over 1,507.5 meters of track. Built for the 1992 Albertsville Winter Olympic Games, it is artificially kept frozen. The track is also a part of the 2018 Annecy Winter Olympic Games bid proposal.

1992 Albertsville Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: East Germany - Meinhard Nehmer, Jochen Babock, Bernhard Germeshausen, Bernhard Lehmann 
SILVER: Switzerland - Erich Schärer, Ulrich Bächli, Rudolf Marti, Joseph Benz 
BRONZE: West Germany - Wolfgang Zimmerer, Peter Utzschneider, Bodo Bittner, Manfred Schumann 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Austria - Ingo Appelt, Harald Winkler, Gerhard Haidacher, Thomas Schroll 
SILVER: Germany - Wolfgang Hoppe, Bogdan Musiol, Axel Kühn, René Hannemann 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Gustav Weder, Donat Acklin, Lorenz Schindelholz, Curdin Morell 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women: 
No competition.
  

 

Lake Placid, New York

Situated in upstate New York, Lake Placid is one of two sliding tracks in the United States. It has been consistently ranked as one of the most difficult courses in the world. Athletes of the course experience 5.1 G-Forces as they travel 1,455 meters at an average speed of 130 km per hour. Lake Placid was the home for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, as well as nine FIBT World Championships, most recently in 2012. A new combined bobsled, skeleton and luge track was built for the 2000 Goodwill Games, and it was the first track to host world championships for the three sliding sports in the same season during a non-Winter Olympic year.

One of the many features of the Lake Placid track is the interactive bobsled ride for visitors. Experience what it is like to be inside a sled, driven by actual bobsledders. For more information on this unique opportunity, visit http://www.lakeplacid.com/do/family-fun/bobsled-rides-olympic-sports-complex.

1932 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: United States - William Fiske, Eddie Eagan, Clifford Grey, Jay O'Brien 
SILVER: United States - Henry Homburger, Percy Bryant, Francis Stevens, Edmund Horton 
BRONZE: Germany - Hans Mehlhorn, Max Ludwig, Hanns Kilian, Sebastian Huber 

Two-man: 
GOLD: United States - Hubert Stevens and Curtis Stevens 
SILVER: Switzerland - Reto Capadrutt and Oscar Geier 
BRONZE: United States - John Heaton and Robert Minton 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women: 
No competition.
 

1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games Medalists

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: East Germany -  Meinhard Nehmer, Bogdan Musiol, Bernhard Germeshausen, Hans-Jürgen Gerhardt 
SILVER: Switzerland - Erich Schärer, Ulrich Bächli, Rudolf Marti, Joseph Benz 
BRONZE: East Germany - Horst Schönau, Roland Wetzig, Detlef Richter, Andreas Kirchner 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Switzerland - Erich Schärer and Joseph Benz 
SILVER: East Germany - Bernhard Germeshausen and Hans-Jürgen Gerhardt 
BRONZE: East Germany - Meinhard Nehmer and Bogdan Musiol 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women:  
No competition.



Lillehammer, Norway

Host of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, which was just two years after the 1992 Albertsville Winter Olympic Games, the Lillehammer track is 1,365 meters in length with a 114 meter vertical drop. Compared to Lake Placid (5.1 G-Forces), sliders at Lillehammer feel 5.2 G-Forces. The track is heavily utilized by European nations for training purposes.

1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Germany - Harald Czudaj, Karsten Brannasch, Olaf Hampel, Alexander Szelig 
SILVER: Switzerland - Gustav Weder, Donat Acklin, Kurt Meier, Domenico Semeraro 
BRONZE: Germany - Wolfgang Hoppe, Ulf Hielscher, René Hannemann, Carsten Embach 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Switzerland - Gustav Weder and Donat Acklin 
SILVER: Switzerland - Reto Götschi and Guido Acklin 
BRONZE: Italy - Günther Huber and Stefano Ticci 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women: 
No competition.
 

 

Nagano, Japan

Nagano will remain the only sliding track in Asia, depending on how one classifies Sochi, Russia, until construction of Peyongchang’s course is completed for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Nagano has hosted the 2003 World Skeleton Championships, as well as the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The two-man bobsled competition at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games will always be memorable, because there was not a silver medal awarded, but rather a tie for the gold medal by Canada and Italy.  In the four-man competition, there was a tie for the bronze medal between France and Great Britain. The track is a daunting 1,762.3 meters in length, with a vertical drop of 112.5 meters.

1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Germany - Christoph Langen, Markus Zimmermann, Marco Jakobs, Olaf Hampel 
SILVER: Switzerland - Marcel Rohner, Markus Nüssli, Markus Wasser, Beat Seitz 
BRONZE: France - Bruno Mingeon, Emmanuel Hostache, Éric Le Chanony, Max Robert; Great Britain - Sean Olsson, Dean Ward, Courtney Rumbolt, Paul Attwood 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Canada - Pierre Lueders and David MacEachern; Italy - Günther Huber and Antonio Tartaglia 
SILVER: No medal awarded. 
BRONZE: Germany - Christoph Langen and Markus Zimmermann 

Women: 
No competition. 

Skeleton 

Men: 
No competition. 

Women: 
No competition.
 

 

Park City, Utah

Park City, which is located right outside of Salt Lake City, played host to the bobsled and skeleton competitions at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. One of two sliding tracks in the United States, Park City is well utilized for World Cup and North American Cup events. The track spans 1,340 meters in length, with a vertical drop of 122.5 meters.  The 2002 Salt Lake City Games introduced the world to the two-woman bobsled and the women’s skeleton competitions. The men’s skeleton competition was also added to the Games, breaking a 46-year hiatus. Similar to Lake Placid, Park City offers visitors a first-hand sledding experience. You will accompany a professional driver down 15 turns of the track, reaching 80 mph and five G-Forces. This is unlike any rollercoaster you have ever experienced. For more information and to book your trip today, visit http://utaholympiclegacy.com/activity/comet-bobsled-ride/.

2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: Germany - André Lange, Enrico Kühn, Kevin Kuske, Carsten Embach 
SILVER: United States - Todd Hays, Randy Jones, Bill Schuffenhauer, Garrett Hines 
BRONZE: United States - Brian Shimer, Mike Kohn, Doug Sharp, Dan Steele 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Germany - Christoph Langen and Markus Zimmermann 
SILVER: Switzerland - Christian Reich and Steve Anderhub 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Martin Annen and Beat Hefti 

Women: 
GOLD: United States - Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers 
SILVER: Germany - Sandra Prokoff and Ulrike Holzner 
BRONZE: Germany - Susi Erdmann and Nicole Herschmann 

Skeleton 

Men: 
GOLD: United States - Jimmy Shea 
SILVER: Austria - Martin Rettl 
BRONZE: Switzerland - Gregor Stähli 

Women: 
GOLD: United States - Tristan Gale 
SILVER: United States - Lea Ann Parsley 
BRONZE: Great Britain - Alex Coomber
 

 

Sigulda, Latvia

This track once served as the training site for the Soviet Union and now is home to the Latvian national team. The track is 1,200 meters in length, with 16 curves. Sigulda, located near the capital city of Latvia, Riga, has hosted several World Cup skeleton events. Tourists are offered the experience of riding a bobsled, piloted by experienced drivers, down the track.

No Winter Olympic Games have been held in Sigulda.




Whistler, Canada

The site of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games bobsled and skeleton events, Whistler is a popular resort town, situated in Blackomb Mountain. The Whistler Sliding Centre features a 1,450-meter track, with a vertical decline of 152 meters.  Sliders will experience a 20% downward grade.  Visitors are encouraged to slide down the track in a bobsled, winter or summer, for a very reasonable price.

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

Bobsled

Four-man: 

GOLD: United States - Steven Holcomb, Steve Mesler, Curt Tomasevicz, Justin Olsen 
SILVER: Germany - André Lange, Kevin Kuske, Alexander Rödiger, Martin Putze 
BRONZE: Canada - Lyndon Rush, David Bissett, Lascelles Brown, Chris le Bihan 

Two-man: 
GOLD: Germany - Kevin Kuske and André Lange 
SILVER: Germany - Richard Adjei and Thomas Florschütz 
BRONZE: Russia - Alexey Voyevoda and Alexandr Zubkov 

Women: 
GOLD: Canada - Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse 
SILVER: Canada - Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown 
BRONZE: United States - Erin Pac and Elana Meyers 

Skeleton 

Men: 
GOLD: Canada - Jon Montgomery 
SILVER: Latvia - Martins Dukurs 
BRONZE: Russia - Alexander Tretiakov 

Women: 
GOLD: Great Britain - Amy Williams 
SILVER: Germany - Kerstin Szymkowiak 
BRONZE: Germany - Anja Huber
 

 

Winterberg, Germany

One of Germany’s three sliding tracks, Winterberg is located on the Rhine River. The track hosted the first FIBT women’s bobsled World Championship in 2000, as well as the FIBT 19955 World Championship for men’s bobsled. In 2015, the bobsled and skeleton World Championships will return to Winterberg. This sliding track consists of 1,330 meters of ice, including a vertical drop of 110 meters.

No Winter Olympic Games have been held in Winterberg.



Cole McKeel - USBSF Marketing and Media Assistant, cmckeel@usbsf.com, (719) 722-0522