Eighth (last) stage of Skeleton World Cup 2018-2019 took place in Calgary Olympic Park on February 22-24.
Best skeleton athletes and their coaches from around the world came to decide who is going to become a Crystal Globe winner based on the overall World Cup 2018-2019 season performance.
Skeleton is a winter sport in which sportsmen slide down a track on a metal sled (called skeleton) with their heads-first.
Athletes use special shoes with spikes to steer and slow down the sleds. They also use their balance to adjust the trajectory. When sliding, sportsmen can accelerate to 130km/h having their chins only a few centimeters away from the ground.
The skeleton track in Calgary is 1475 meters long with a vertical drop of 120 meters (almost 2/3 of a height of Calgary Tower) and it takes less than a minute to slide all the way from start to finish. Athletes can experience up to 5gs G-force during slides. It is equivalent to five times the force of gravity humans are normally exposed to when on Earth. In other words, a person`s weight of 180 pounds might be equivalent to 900 pounds, when on track.
Before race, every sled is being checked for its skid temperature. It must not be higher than 4 degrees Celsius, as it can increase a sportsmen`s speed on the truck.
The skids are also being sanded before the race, to make sure that there are no sliding substances applied on them to help an athlete slide better.
The sleds are made personally for each professional athlete, and cost of it could come up to 30000 EUR.
Alexander Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina (Both from Russia) were awarded Crystal Globes based on 2018-2019 World Cup results.
Alexander Shemetov. www.shemetov.com 2019