Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Date Started: February 20, 2010
Date Finished: February 27, 2010
Participants: 159 (117 men and 42 women) from 23 countries
Youngest Participant: Florin Crăciun (20 years, 239 days)
Oldest Participant: Ivan Šola (48 years, 77 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): André Lange and Kevin Kuske (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): Canada and Germany (3 medals)
Situated on the slopes of Blackcomb Mountain the Whistler Sliding Centre hosted the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events at the 2010 Winter Games.
Construction was completed in November 2007 and the following month the Canadian Olympic champion [Pierre Lueders] had the honour of being the first man to pilot a bob down the course.
From the outset the track gained a reputation as being both the fastest track in the world and one which demanded excellent technical ability.
The track was 1450 m in length with 16 corners with a vertical drop of 152 m and an average gradient of 10.5%. During the Games speeds regularly exceeded 145 km/h (90 mp/h) with [Lyndon Rush]’s Canadian quartet posting the fastest speed at 153.4 km/h (95.3 mp/h).
Prior to the Games many nations complained about the amount of training that was allowed on the Olympic track.
The Canadian authorities only allowed foreign teams the minimum amount of runs permissible under Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) regulations prior to the Games, a decision that some felt was against the Olympic spirit.
One innovation for 2010 was the presence of a third crew from some of the elite nations of the bobsleigh world. Prior to Vancouver a limit of two crews per nation has existed at all Winter Games.
With the death of the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, there were many concerns over the safety of the track for the bobsleigh teams. There were a number of crashes during both practice and the events themselves although, fortunately, there were no serious injuries. Germany, a traditional power in this event, won one gold and two silver medals. [André Lange] and [Kevin Kuske] (GER) both added to their Olympic medal tally, adding gold and silver to the three gold medals won in previous Games. However Canada, on their home track, won three medals and the United States two, and in the process winning their first men’s bobsleigh gold medal since 1948. Russia were the only other medal winners, gaining a bronze in the two man event.