Skeleton at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Dates 13 – 15 February 2014
Medal Events 2

The skeleton events of the 2014 Winter Olympics were held at the Sanki Sliding Centre in Rzhanaya Polyana which is approximately 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the host city of Sochi. The track, which was due to be built even if Sochi’s Olympic bid had been unsuccessful, was opened in 2012 and hosted its first major event, the finale of the 2012-13 World Cup series in February 2013. For both bobsleigh and skeleton the track was configured to measure 1365 metres with 19 curves and an average drop of 9.3%. The track was unusual in that it had three uphill sections and was considered more technically challenging than the tracks used at the previous two Olympic Winter Games although top speeds still reached 130 km/h or 80 mp/h.

The general consensus before the Games was that both the men’s and women’s events would develop into head-to-head battles for the gold medals between two clear favourites. In the men’s event Martins Dukurs of Latvia was slightly favoured over Russia’s Aleksandr Tretyakov whilst in the women’s race American Noelle Pikus-Pace and Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain appeared to be evenly matched.

As it transpired home advantage was used to good effect by Tretyakov who emerged as the winner by a comfortable margin. He posted the fastest time in 3 of the 4 runs and finished .8 of a second ahead of his Latvian rival with the rest of the field, led by American Matt Antoine trailing distantly in their wake. Lizzy Yarnold was an even more emphatic winner in the women’s event and only narrowly failed to finish a full second ahead of Pikus-Pace.

The Russian skeleton programme was galvanised by hosting the Games and, after being bit part players for most of the sport’s history, all six of their team posted top six finishes. In contrast Germany, one of the traditional powerhouses of the sport, struggled to even post top 10 finishes.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Skeleton, Men Olympic 14 – 15 February 2014 27 16
Skeleton, Women Olympic 13 – 14 February 2014 20 12
47 (27/20) 17 (16/12)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Skeleton, Men Aleksandr TretyakovRUS Martins DukursLAT Matt AntoineUSA
Skeleton, Women Lizzy YarnoldGBR Noelle Pikus-PaceUSA Yelena NikitinaRUS

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Russian Federation RUS 1 0 1 2
Great Britain GBR 1 0 0 1
United States USA 0 1 1 2
Latvia LAT 0 1 0 1