Pyeongchang 2018

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Five reasons to follow skeleton’s ‘slippery slope to insanity’ at PyeongChang 2018

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain competes in a run during the Women's Skeleton on Day 7 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

It might be a slippery slope to insanity, but skeleton has become a real hit with spectators at the Olympic Winter Games. Here are five reasons why you can’t miss it PyeongChang 2018:

Amusing beginnings

Skeleton was born in the late 19th century in Switzerland, when wealthy (and slightly sozzled) Brits slid through the streets of St Moritz on their bellies, leading disgruntled locals to label them skeletons. Soon people started doing it competitively, using the famous Cresta Run in the town.


There aren’t many things more perilous than careering face first down a tunnel of ice at 80mph. Add to that the bends and severe G-force and you have a severely scary sport. Little wonder that skeleton has been described as ‘a slippery slope to insanity’.


Although it looks like the racers are lying on a metal tea tray, the skeleton sled is a serious bit of kit. It consists of a steel frame, composite pod, steel saddle and two runners. Team GB worked with BAE systems to create their sledges in the run-up to the last two Olympics, resulting in back-to-back gold medals for their women.

Comeback event

Skeleton featured in the Winter Games in 1928 and 1948 (for men only) and was then dropped (boo). Thankfully it made a comeback in 2002 in Salt Lake City for both men and women and has become a real hit with spectators.

GB’s golden sport

Despite the Brits being behind the idea of the Olympic Winter Games, let’s be honest , they have never really been that good. Skeleton is the exception though. It’s been their golden sport and they’re the only country to have won a medal in every Games since the sport was reintroduced in 2002. In fact Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold claimed back-to-back golds in 2010 and 2014.


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