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Skeleton, XX Winter Olympic Games Torino 2006

Skeleton, sometimes also called tobogganing, is an individual winter sport where competitors drive the sled in a prone, head-first position down an ice track on a sled or 'sleigh', and differs from luge, where the rider drives the sled from a supine, feet-first orientation.

EVENTS

Skeleton at the 2006 Winter Olympics will be held in the town of Cesana Torinese, in an area called Pariol, a little outside the town in the direction of San Sicario, Italy on February 16 and 17.

HISTORY

Skeleton is the oldest known sledding sport and originates from St. Moritz, Switzerland, where in 1884 the Cresta run was built by Major Bulpetts. The following year, the first annual Grand National was organised, which continues as the premier race in the sport. For many years, Skeleton competitions were conducted only in St. Moritz: riders raced down the frozen road from St. Moritz to Celerina on simple sleds, and the winner received a bottle of champagne.

When the Winter Olympic Games were held there in 1928 and 1948, the event was included in the program. Skeleton returned a third time at the 2002 Games, after a 54-year absence, while women's skeleton appears for the first time at Salt Lake City.

RULES OF SKELETON

The format for Olympic skeleton consists of two timed runs. The sled can only be ridden in the prone position (on the stomach, face first), and although the rider can leave the sled to push or move it, he or she must cross the finish line on the sled in order for the run to be considered valid.

When the race starts, the temperature of the runners must be within 4C of the reference runner, which is exposed to the open air for one hour before the start of the competition. It is prohibited to warming the sled's metal runners or to use any substance that improves sliding.

[Part of the text above is derived from Wikipedia and is subject to the GNU licence]
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