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Winter Olympics: Everything you need to know about luge and skeletons at the Beijing 2022 Games

Luge and Skeleton make up two of the three gliding events at this year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, with bobsleigh the third.

Formerly a men’s only event, the intensely exciting Skeleton was removed from the Olympic competition list between 1948 and 2002, with the head-on discipline deemed far too risky for participants.

It was reintroduced as a men’s and women’s event for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and has remained in the schedule ever since. The Luge has been part of the Games since 1964.

Both Luge and Skeleton require impeccable precision, as the race of speed and concentration pushes participants to a medal every 1000th of a second.

Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know for the competition.

The Skeleton (pictured) and Luge are two of the three sliding events at the Beijing Games, alongside Bobsleigh

The Skeleton (pictured) and Luge are two of the three sliding events at the Beijing Games, alongside Bobsleigh

Luge and Skeleton’s Beijing 2022 Location

Both events will be held at the Yanqing National Sliding Center, next to the bobsleigh competition.

The center is located 74 km outside Beijing, in the Xiaohaituo Mountains in Yanqing. It has a total capacity of 10,000, consisting of 2,000 seats and 8,000 standing spectators.

The track includes 16 turns with a maximum gradient of 18% during its 1,615m length and also includes a unique 360 ​​degree section.

Course overview
Course distance Maximum slope curves
1.615m 18% 16
The 1,615m track will be used for the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events in February

The 1,615m track will be used for the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events in February

The 1,615m track will be used for the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events in February

With the first locally broadcast Omicron case confirmed in Beijing in recent days, Beijing 2022 organizers have pulled the plug on plans to sell tickets widely while spectators based abroad have already been banned.

Instead, there will be an ‘adjusted program’ that will invite groups of spectators, but how many remains to be seen. A full house would be 10,000 for the events, but it remains to be seen how many will attend.

How are luge and skeletons different from each other?

The difference between Luge (R) and Skeleton (L) is that the first athletes see the feet go first

The difference between Luge (R) and Skeleton (L) is that the first athletes see the feet go first

The difference between Luge (R) and Skeleton (L) is that the first athletes see the feet go first

The main difference between the two sports is that lugers zoom with the feet down on a curved fiberglass sled, with the face and feet up. Skeleton racers fly down the track on their stomachs, facing forward. In addition, their sleds are much heavier and thinner.

The racers use very fine movements to steer their sled, reducing the chance of accidents, while lugers usually steer by pressing their legs on fiberglass guides at the base of the sled.

Neither sled has brakes, however, and the sports are both known for being among the most dangerous during the Winter Olympics.

What disciplines can be seen in Beijing?

The red events will be split into four sections: Men’s, Women’s, Doubles and Team Relay.

At toboggan events, athletes first travel with their feet on a small sled across the track at Yanqing National Sliding Center.

In both men’s and women’s singles, the competition lasts two days, with two runs on each day. The four times are added together and the fastest total time determines the winner.

The one-day doubles is open to men and women, with pairs of athletes completing two runs over a course. As with singles, the fastest total time determines the winner.

Tobogganing’s latest Olympic race – the team relay – in 2014 was dominated by Sochi. If the previous runner touches the touchpad on the starting line, the next runner starts.

The event was officially sanctioned at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In a relay race, a man, a woman and a double pair form a team.

Results for the team relay event are calculated based on the team time from the start of the first sled to the third sled to finish and the fastest total time determines the winner.

A brief overview of what awaits us for those who participate in one of the skeleton competitions

A brief overview of what awaits us for those who participate in one of the skeleton competitions

A brief overview of what awaits us for those who participate in one of the skeleton competitions

The Skeleton competition is divided into the men’s and women’s events. The combined weight of the sled and athlete must not exceed 115 kg for men and 92 kg for women.

The event was considered too dangerous an event for people to go down first and was removed from the list of sports after the 1948 event. It was reinstated in the Olympic program for the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 with a women’s event added.

BATTLE AND SKELETON SCHEDULE

Saturday 5 February

Luge – Men’s Singles Run 1 (11:10am)

Luge – Men’s Singles Run 2 (12.50pm)

Sunday, February 6

Luge – Men’s Singles, Run 3 (11:30 a.m.)

Luge – Men’s Singles, Series 4 (1.15am)

Monday 7 February

Luge – Women’s Single, Run 1 (11:50am)

Luge – Women’s Single, Run 2 (1.30am)

tuesday 8 february

Luge – Women’s Single, Run 3 (11:50am)

Luge – Women’s Single, Run 4 (1.35hrs)

Wednesday 9 February

Luge – Double Run 1 (12.20 pm)

Luge – Doubles 2 (1:35 PM)

Thursday 10 February:

Luge – Team Relay Competition (1h30)

Skeleton – Men’s Heat 1 (1.30am)

Skeleton – Men’s Heat 2 (3h)

Friday 11 February

Skeleton – Women’s Heat 1 (1.30am)

Skeleton – Ladies Heat 2 (3h)

Skeleton – Men’s Heat 3 (12:20)

Skeleton – Men’s Heat 4 (1:55 am)

Saturday 12 February

Skeleton – Women’s Heat 3 (12.20pm)

Skeleton – Women’s Heat 4 (1:55 PM)

Who are Luge and Skeleton’s favorites?

Undoubtedly, in terms of women’s sledding, Natalie Geisenberger is the one to watch, largely regarded as the greatest of all time.

The five-time gold medalist won in 2014 and 2018 and is coming in 2022 determined to defend her crown, having previously debated skipping the Games, in part because of China’s human rights issues.

However, Julia Taubitz, who currently holds world champion status, will be tough to beat.

Meanwhile, Felix Loch, a three-time medalist and world record holder, is the one to watch in the men’s race.

Team GB, which has never won a toboggan medal, will only have Rupert Staudinger in Beijing.

As for the Skeleton, it is World Champion Christopher Grotheer who comes in as the favorite, after reigning Olympic Champion Yun Sung-bin finished just 17th in the Championships.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Yarnold, who won gold for Team GB in 2014 and 2018, is now retired. However, Laura Deas took silver in 2018 and will return to do better. She will battle alongside Brogan Crowley.

Team GB’s Matt Weston and Marcus Wyatt have also been named for the men’s event and will make their Olympic debut.

Team GB toboggan team: Rupert Staudinger

Team GB’s Skeleton Squad: Matt Weston, Marcus Wyatt, Brogan Crowley, Laura Deas

Luge and Skeleton: 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics Gold Medal Winners

Luge Men’s Singles – Gold Medalists

2006: Italy

2010: Germany

2014: Germany

2018: Austria

Luge Double – Gold Medalists

2006: Austria

2010: Austria

2014: Germany

2018: Germany

Luge Women’s Singles – Gold Medalists

2006: Germany

2010: Germany

2014: Germany

2018: Germany

Luge Team Relay – Gold Medal Winners

2014: Germany

2018: Germany

Men’s Skeleton – Gold Medalists

2006: Canada

2010: Canada

2014: Russia (Gold medal stripped for doping violation)

2018: South Korea

Women’s Skeleton – Gold Medalists

2006: Switzerland

2010: Great Britain

2014: Great Britain

2018: Great Britain

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