After I made it to the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics as the first Ghanaian skeleton racer, a lot of my fans wanted to know one thing—what is skeleton racing and is it difficult?
As a professional athlete, I’m dedicated to my sport. And this means that I train on a daily basis, becoming immune to the risks that might be associated with the sport.
But for someone who’s only watched me on YouTube or on TV, it may seem like the most dangerous sport in the world.
But the question is: is it really?
Here’s why it is and isn’t:
Pros: You Can’t Participate Without Proper Gear
One thing about skeleton racing is that you can’t be dressed to impress (unless your uniform is being judged for safety concerns.)
You can’t participate in the sport if you don’t have the right attire and equipment. You have to have a helmet, skeleton spikes, a skeleton racing sled, and a skeleton suit.
The skeleton suit, helmet, and sled are specifically created to meet all the requirements of the sport.
The shoes you wear also make all the difference because you can’t wear sneakers or joggers. You have to wear spikes, because you will need to run at least a fifty meters before you jump onto the sled. This will determine your speed throughout the race and will also impact the end result.
Pros: There is No Scoring System in Place
One of the best things about skeleton racing is that there isn’t a scoring system. So, when I’m on the track, all I need to do is worry about my speed and timing. If I get a good start during the fifty-meter run, my chances of winning the race improve by a huge mark.
Con: You Slide Down Head-First
So, here’s the thing: I get asked by a lot of people what the difference is between bobsledding and skeleton. The thing about skeleton racing is that you slide down the track head-first. With bobsledding, you maneuver a sled that’s similar to a car (think Volkswagen Beetle!)
With skeleton racing, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could injure yourself. Besides the helmet, there isn’t anything else to protect your body.
Skeleton racing is also all about timing and speed. Your speed at the start determines the outcome of the race.
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