Things to know: Para Bobsled

Lonnie Bissonnette (center) during a recent bobsled event. Photo courtesy of Lonnie Bissonnette.

Paralympic dreams may have to wait, but it isn't stopping bobsled from showing off in Utah

Lonnie Bissonnette mans his bobsled during a recent event. Photo by Viesturs Lãcis

The sport of Para-bobsled may have to wait for its Olympic dreams to start. The high hopes that it would be included in the 2018 winter Paralympics led to disappointment, as the para-bobsled pioneers will have to wait until September of this year to find out if 2022 will be the year to see Paralympic glory.

However, this year, the athletes at the 36th National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) will get to experience the sport as the NVWG introduces a bobsled exhibition scheduled for June 29th of the week-long event at the home of the 2002 Paralympics, Salt Lake City’s Olympic Legacy Park, where the United States placed three times for medals in the sport.

8 things to know about Bobsled

  • The origin of bobsled started in St. Moritz, Switzerland in the late 1800s
  • The typical speeds for para bobsled are between 60 and 90 mph.
  • The first Para Bobsled World Championships took place March 19, 2016.
  • A two-man bobsled will weigh at minimum nearly 400 lbs completely empty.
  • Seven Olympians have died in a Bobsled related accident.
  • The cost of a bobsled can range from 30 – 150K.
  • The only bobsled movie was produced by Disney in 1993 about the Jamaican bobsled team.
  • The para bobsled is adapted from a two-person able-bodied bobsled to a one-person bobsled.


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