Factors Influencing Performance in Bobsledding: I: Influences of the Bobsled Crew and the Environment

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The performance in bobsledding is influenced by several factors. This study concentrated on influences of the environment and the bobsled crew on the final time of a bobsled run. The analysis was performed with data collected during the four-man competition at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. It was shown that the start order, the ice temperature, and the push time together explain about 50% of the variance in the performance (α=0.05). It is suggested that the existing rule concerning the start order in a heat be modified to guarantee a fair competition. Selected speed and turn time variables were shown to give an indication of the characteristics and the important sections of the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park. It is speculated that the optimization of turn times is more important than the increase in speed in a turn.

Michael M. Morlock is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky is with the All-Union Research Institute of Physical Culture, 18 Kasakowa St., 103064 Moscow, USSR.

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