By: Dillan, Carlos, Luis
Theory Behind Skeleton
The skeleton originated in St, Mortiz, Switzerland, as a spinoff of the popular British sport called Cresta Sledding. Although skeleton "sliders" use equipment similar to that of Cresta "riders", the two sports are different: while skeleton is run on the same track used by bobsleds and luge, Cresta is run on Cresta-specific sledding tracks only. Skeleton sleds are steered using torque provided by the head and shoulders. The Cresta toboggan does not have a steering or braking mechanism, though Cresta riders use rakes on their boots in addition to shifting body weight to help steer and brake.
The sport of skeleton can be traced to 1882, when English soldiers constructed a toboggan track between the towns of Davos and Klosters. While toboggan tracks were not uncommon at the time, the added challenge of curves and bends in the Swiss track distinguished it from those of Canada and the United States.
Approximately 30 km (20 mi) away in the winter sports town of St. Mortiz British men had long enjoyed racing one another down the busy, winding streets of the town, causing an uproar among citizens because of the danger to pedestrians and visiting tourists. In 1884, Major William Bulpett, with the backing of winter sports pioneer and Kulm hotel owner Caspar Budrutt, constructed Cresta Run, the first sledding track of its kind in St. Mortiz. The track ran three-quarters of a mile from St. Mortiz to Celerina and contained ten turns still used today. When the Winter Olympic Games were held at St. Mortiz in 1928 and 1948, the Cresta Run was included in the program, marking the only two times skeleton was included as an Olympic event before its permanent addition in 2002 to the Winter Games.