pop quiz
shelby holliday
winter games
February 17, 2014

Pop Quiz: Bobsledding


Scott: We have been talking a lot about weird weather, and it even hit the Olympics where heavy fog caused two big events to have to reschedule. Both the men’s snowboard cross and 15K biathlon had to be postponed. It was the second time the biathlon was delayed due to weather. But the weather didn’t stop some history making. Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first Americans ever to win gold in the event.

Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton won a bronze medal in two-man bobsledding, the first U.S. medal in the event since 1952.

The women’s bobsled team competes today. And they were nice enough to help us out with this pop quiz.

Elana Meyers: What’s up, guys! I’m Elana Meyers and I’m a bobsledder on Team USA. Every bobsled team needs a driver. What’s a driver’s position called? Is it:

A. A pilot

B. A captain

C. A glider

D. A navigator

You’ve got ten seconds!

Time’s up! The answer is “A,” a pilot. And here’s Shelby Holliday with more.

Shelby: Bobsled teams fly down icy tracks at almost 100 miles an hour, so steering the sled is no small task.

Jazmine Fenlator: You have to commit when you bobsled.

Aja Evans: I trust my driver more than I trust myself because there is only so much I can control as a brakeman.

Shelby: Pilots control the movement of the bobsled with a pair of D-rings connected to the sled’s steel runners. And since bobsledding is all about having the fastest time, any slight mistake in driving can cost a team that fraction of a second needed to win.

Fenlator: It is a little bit of extra pressure.

Shelby: The pilot’s brakeman helps out by pushing the bobsled at the start of the race and by shifting her weight to increase speed on the turns. This year, two of the brakemen on Team USA may look familiar. Both Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams competed as track athletes in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Jones: Putting on my track uniform is the same adrenaline rush as putting on my bobsled uniform. So I think that’s what’s pretty cool about it.

Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.


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