Winter Olympics 2002 Winter Olympics 2002


Back to Explainer Index

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images/Allsport

Click here to launch

Skeleton athletes travel head-first down the track, lying on their stomachs atop of the sled (prone position). During the run, sliders may leave the sled for the purpose of pushing or moving it, but they must pass the finish line on the sled. Sliders can reach 80 mph.

Skeletons are sleds with two runners. The frame and the supporting body must be constructed in steel. The sled length is 80 cm to 120 cm and the height 8 cm to 20 cm. The skeleton must have secure handles and bumpers.

The maximum weight of the sled and driver must not exceed 115 kg (253 pounds) for men and 92 kg (202.8 pounds) for women. The weight of the sled cannot be greater than 43 kg (94.8 pounds) for men and 35 kg (77.2 pounds) for women. If the weight of the sled and driver exceeds the limit, the maximum weight of the sled alone must not be greater than 33 kg (72.8 pounds) for men and 29 kg (63.9 pounds) for women. Ballast can be placed on the sled to add extra weight.

Luge will be contested at Utah Olympic Park during the 2002 Salt Lake Games. One of the fastest courses in the world, the track is 1,335 meters long and has five start areas for the different events (luge, bobsled and skeleton).

Men's skeleton will be returning to the Olympics for the first time since the 1948 Games in St. Moritz. Women's skeleton will be making its Olympic debut at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.