The Science Of Skeleton
By: Carson Hegler
How Its Played
-Danger- Very high speeds do occur when you put heavy man on a sled with very little friction down an icy track. So to prevent injury sleds have bumpers around the edges to keep the rider from scraping against a side wall, but crashes do happen and when they do , the rider can have minor to major injuries, so hopefully they know how to steer.
-Winning- To win you must navigate the track as quick as you can while going 80 MPH or faster. During the Olympics the sliders for the skeleton, ride on the same track as the sliders for the luge.
-High speed crashes- Skeleton can be dangerous if you don't know how to take a crash and if don't have the right equipment. High speed crashes can occur. When they do it's not good that's why in the arenas, EMS are on stand-by.
-Equipment- Special equipment is needed in skeleton like, bumpers to absorb shock, the frame to hold the sled together, leather gloves to get more grip on the sled, handles for the starting push, helmet for head protection safety1st, elastic racing suit for speed, sharp spiked shoes for digging into ice on the start, and of course the sliders sled. This equipment can be the difference between 1st and 2nd place.
-Hold on and melt in- Skeleton as you know is very fast. So how do they go that fast, aerodynamics is how. They try to become one with the sled. To help there are long rails on the sled the slider lays between them and puts his arms on the other side of the rails then relaxes to melt in then gravity does the rest.
-Air resistance- When your going 40 MPH down a freeway and you put your hand out the window it goes back unless you hold it in place. Imagine double that speed with your whole body out the window you would loose grip and fly out away from the car. That's how skeleton competitors feel every run, that's why they hold on and melt in. To reduce drag, for one thing it slows them down for another they would loose their sled!