Bobsleigh

Facts

Discipline of Bobsleigh
Participants 1796
NOCs 57
Competitions held 47 (Venues)
Distinct events 9
IF International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation

Description

Bobsledding as a sport originated in Switzerland in 1888 when an American, Wilson Smith (who often visited relatives in Britain), connected two sleighs with a board to travel from St. Moritz to Celerina. Bobsledding was first practiced on the Cresta Run at St. Moritz but the run was not suitable for the faster bobsleighs so a separate bob run was constructed there in 1904, the world’s first.

Bobsledding was on the program of the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 with a single four/five-man event. In both 1924 and 1928, the event was one for sleds with either four or five men. In 1932, the present men’s program of two events began, one for two-man bobsleighs, and one for four-man bobsleighs. In 2002 at Salt Lake City, women competed in Olympic bobsledding for the first time, in a two-women event. Bobsledding has been contested at all Olympic Winter Games except in 1960 at Squaw Valley. Because of the distance to travel to California, only nine countries indicated that they would enter bobsled teams. The Squaw Valley organizers thus decided not to build a bob run and the sport was not held that year.

Bobsledding has been dominated by the Swiss, the Italians, and, until 1992, the German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany). The sport is governed by the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF), which was founded as Fédération internationale de bobsleigh et de tobogganing (FIBT) on 23 November 1923 in Paris and renamed in 2015. As of 2020 IBSF has 78 members. The bobsledding federation currently also governs the sliding sport of skeleton.

Switzerland leads the bobsleigh medal list with 31 medals (and 9 gold), but Germany has 25 medals and 13 golds. Including East and West Germany, Germany overall has won 44 medals and 19 gold medals. Two German bobsledders, Kevin Kuske and André Lange, have won four gold medals, while Bogdan Musiol, who competed for Germany and East Germany, has won the most medals, with seven, with four athletes having won six medals – Kuske, Musiol, Wolfgang Hoppe (GDR/GER), and Eugenio Monti (ITA).

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 13 6 6 25
Switzerland SUI 10 10 11 31
United States USA 7 10 8 25
East Germany GDR 5 5 3 13
Canada CAN 5 2 2 9
Italy ITA 4 4 4 12
West Germany FRG 1 3 2 6
Austria AUT 1 2 0 3
Great Britain GBR 1 1 3 5
Latvia LAT 1 0 2 3
Soviet Union URS 1 0 2 3
Belgium BEL 0 1 1 2
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 1 2
Republic of Korea KOR 0 1 0 1
France FRA 0 0 1 1
Romania ROU 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 3 0 1 4
Romania ROU 2 0 0 2
Netherlands NED 1 0 1 2
Italy ITA 1 0 0 1
Austria AUT 0 2 0 2
Great Britain GBR 0 1 1 2
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 0 1
Slovakia SVK 0 1 0 1
Liechtenstein LIE 0 0 1 1
Monaco MON 0 0 1 1
Norway NOR 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Kevin Kuske GER 4 2 0 6
André Lange GER 4 1 0 5
Bernhard Germeshausen GDR 3 1 0 4
Meinhard Nehmer GDR 3 0 1 4
Wolfgang Hoppe GDR
GER
2 3 1 6
Eugenio Monti ITA 2 2 2 6
Donat Acklin SUI 2 1 1 4
Gustav Weder SUI 2 1 1 4
Markus Zimmermann GER 2 1 1 4
Dietmar Schauerhammer GDR 2 1 0 3

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Alexander Czudaj GER 1 0 0 1
Georgeta Popescu ROU 1 0 0 1
Andrei Nica ROU 1 0 0 1
Patrick Baumgartner ITA 1 0 0 1
Alessandro Grande ITA 1 0 0 1
Sanne Dekker NED 1 0 0 1
Marije van Huigenbosch NED 1 0 0 1
Jonas Jannusch GER 1 0 0 1
Laura Nolte GER 1 0 0 1
Benjamin Maier AUT 0 1 0 1
Jazmin Sawyers GBR 0 1 0 1
Mica McNeill GBR 0 1 0 1
Viktória Čerňanská SVK 0 1 0 1
Robert Ofensberger AUT 0 1 0 1
Mercedes Schulte AUT 0 1 0 1
Maksim Ivanov RUS 0 1 0 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Two Men 20
Two Women 5
Four Open 1
Two Boys 1
Monobob Boys 2
Two Girls 1
Monobob Girls 2
Four Men 19
Four/Five Men 2