Host City: Chamonix, France
Venue(s): Bobsleigh Course, Les PÃ©lerins
Date Started: February 2, 1924
Date Finished: February 3, 1924
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
In contrast with modern-day bobsleigh, teams in the event could consist of either four or five men. Although more weight is actually considered an advantage, only the Italian and Belgian teams fielded five-man sleighs. Top favorite for the title was the second Swiss bob, named "Kismet" and operated by [Charles Stoffel]. Stoffel was also an excellent horseman, and he competed in the three-day event at two Olympics. His son, [Alexander], followed in his equestrian footsteps, but did not ride the bobsleigh. However, Stoffel and his crew fell victim to the dangerous course on the very first run as they crashed out of the competition.
This cleared the way for the other Swiss bob, piloted by [Eduard Scherrer]. He had won his sled, )Acrobate), in a raffle, and had taken some of his fellow villagers for some rides. When they entered the Swiss selection trials as a joke, they were actually selected. Their broad-shod sled proved to be an advantage in the thawing conditions that plagued the competition in Chamonix. They won the first three runs with considerable difference, and could afford to lose the final run to the British bob.
The Belgian squad that took third place featured two crewmen who were also a member of the ice hockey team. One place lower in the rankings was France I. Their team consisted of the 44-year-old [Henri Aldebert], co-founder of the International Bobsleigh Federation, and 48-year-old [Georges AndrÃ©], who also competed in curling. Aldebert was also on the curling team, but didn't compete at the Olympics. A third member of the crew, [Marquis de Suarez] was also a multi-talented athlete. An accomplished diver and racing driver, he was killed in World War II when his fighter plane was shot down over France.