Skeleton has twice been in the Olympic program, both times at its traditional home of St. Moritz, in 1928 and 1948. However, skeleton for both men and women has also been added to the 2002 Olympic program.
Skeleton is the discipline where competitors aim to drive a one-person sled in a prone, head-first position down an ice track in the fastest time. Olympic skeleton events consist of four runs timed electronically to 0.01 seconds. The four runs are contested over two days and the final standings are determined by the aggregate time of the four runs. If athletes complete the competition in a tie, they receive the same award. Skeleton consists of two events in the Olympic program — individual men and individual women.
- The sled is made of two runners. The frame must be constructed of steel. The same sled must be used in all rounds of the competition. It must weigh no more than 43kg for men and 35kg for women.
- Gloves are made of leather and are worn for protection.
- Handles are used for the start push and during the race. They must be covered with soft material. All competitors must wear helmets, which are hard plastic and equipped with a chin guard and visor.
- The racing suit is a tight-fitting bodysuit made of elastic fabric that may have padding sewn into the elbows.
- Shoes are made of synthetic material and have spikes on the soles for traction during the push start.
Skeleton in Sochi
The Sliding Center “Sanki” with unique technical specifications is constructed for skeleton, bobsleigh and luge events during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It will be the most challenging track ever designed. State-of-the-art ice preparation technology will ensure accurate and constant temperature control along the track.
The Russian National Sliding Center will be built at the Alpika Service Mountain Ski Resort with a finish area in Rzhanaya Polyana. This resort is located at an ideal altitude for utilising Krasnaya Polyana’s superior snow cover.
Track events can be watched by 9,000 spectators.