Olympic Controversies – Bobsledding

There have been a number of controversies at the Winter Olympics since 1924. Here are two important bobsledding controversies.

Germany’s four-man bobsled team win was controversial at the Oslo Winter Olympics in 1952. The weight of the German team was over 454 kg (1,000 pounds) and the average weight of individual German competitors was approximately 117kg. This was more than some heavyweight boxers at the time. There were no restrictions on the weight of competitors up until 1952. The International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (IBSF) decided to implement weight restrictions for future competitions.

The 1960 Winter Olympics at Squay Valley in California was the first time that bobsledding was left out of the Winter Olympics. Organizers were concerned with lack of teams travelling to America and the development costs of the site. Petitions from the IBSF did nothing to change the mind of organizers. California was the home of many surfers and critics believed that bobsledding may have gained huge popularity if it was included in the California Winter Olympics.

The Winter Olympics always attracts some controversy and the absence of the bobsled in 1960 must have been a crushing blow to the global recognition of the sport. Changes to the weight of competitors also altered the training regimes of crews after the ruling.