As the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics come to a close, many fans and commentators will miss the high-energy bobsled runs from the nation’s top contenders. The bobsleigh event took place over the course of a week, starting Feb. 18 and finishing the last day of the Olympics, Feb 25. There are three different bobsleigh events: the Men’s two-man, Men’s four-men, and Women’s two-man. Germany proved strong throughout the week-long event, as they swept gold in all three events.
Bobsleigh is an exhilarating sport with each round only lasting less than a minute on the course. The competition heightens as the timing only differs between competitors by hundredth of seconds.
With little time to exceed opposing teams, the competition is intense. In the two-man Men’s event, Canada and Germany tied for gold. The teams tied with a total time for all heats of 3:16.86. This is not the first time this rare event took place. Back in 1998 Canada tied for gold with the Italians in the two-man bobsled event.
Both the Germans and Canadians proudly celebrated their achievements, and neither one seemed bothered by the scenario. The South-Korean four-man bobsleigh team represented their country victoriously as they placed silver in their event alongside Germany, who again also tied for silver with a total time of 3:16.38.
The U.S. two-man Women’s bobsleigh team turned out with a silver in their event, with Germany preceding them by a seventh of a second. U.S. women’s bobsled pilot Elena Meyers spoke for the team regarding the challenging Olympic course in an interview with People Magazine. The team’s silver scoring however represents their determination and practice pays off.
“The track in South Korea is a whole new animal than anything we’ve ever faced,” Meyers said. “Even curve two is unlike any we’ve seen … It’s something we’re going to have to adjust to.” Meyers said. “I like the track. I think it’s got a good character, and I think the way me and Jamie have evolved as pilots is going to suit us very well.”
Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Phylicia George placed bronze in the two-man Women’s event. Fans excitedly cheered on and supported their teams.
Although not placing, this year’s Winter Olympics will go down in history for Nigeria as women trio Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga became the first ever African representatives, male or female, qualifying for the Winter Olympics sport of bobsled.
For Jamaica, their journey to the Olympics was difficult. A week before the Olympics, the women’s bobsled Jamaican coach Sandra Kiriasis announced her departure from her position. The team was left without a bobsled and a coach, but Jamaican beer company Red Stripe came to the rescue tweeting “No bobsled, no problem. If you need a new ride @Jambobsled, put it on @RedStripe’s tab. DM us and we’ll be in touch ??.” Red Stripe held true to their tweet and supplied the team with a new bobsled.
The Winter Olympics are a place for athletes to proudly represent their countries in peaceful and competitive manners. Whether a team places gold or not, a country is gracious for their opportunities to showcase their talent on an international stage.