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Women’s monobobbing takes center stage at Winter Olympics
February 26, 2022
The 2022 Winter Olympics will look different this year for viewers and Olympians. The opening ceremony, on Feb. 4, will be held in Beijing and events will take place in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. This year there will be seven new winter events. Surprisingly, the most popular new event this year is women’s monobobbing.
Many people have not heard of the new women’s monobobbing event. Junior Philip Eviston has enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics since a young age. “There’s a lot of variety in the Winter Olympics, I think it’s fun,” Eviston said.
The International Olympics Committee decided to add monobobbing to the 2022 games in the Summer of 2018. The new event is meant to allow all countries an equal opportunity to compete with the same bobsled and to give female Olympians more bobsledding events.
“I love the competition and the intensity of the Olympics. I also love the underdog and watching them win,” Erin Nickleby, health and AVID teacher, said.
A monobob is a one-person bobsled. The event will be for women only and is open for all countries to compete. Women already use monobob sleds when training for the two women bobsledding event. Monobobs, being lighter than two-person bobsleds are harder to control. Often, athletes will end up with a slower time on the women’s monobob event than the two-women bobsled event.
Elana Meyers Taylor, an American two-women bobsledding event medalist explained in an Olympic interview, “Part of the draw of bobsled is the team aspect of it.”
Furthermore, according to a Winter Olympics survey taken by the Pony Express, six out of ten people watch the Winter Olympics while only four out of ten have heard of the new womens monobobbing event. Consequently, womens’ monobobbing is predicted to increase the universality of bobsledding, with the most diversity in competitors.
Senior Louisa Ward likes to watch the Winter Olympics as she knows school Alumni and American Olympian Jessie Diggins very well. She describes Diggins as very energetic and always supporting the people around her.
With competitors from all over the globe, it is important for all contestants to have access to the same resources. For this reason, all monobob sleds are made by the same manufacturer and cost $15,000 which is nothing compared to the $70,000 cost of a two person sled. While the aerodynamics of all sleds must stay the same, teams do make small modifications to their sleds to gain speed and edge.
Despite the same sleds being used by all competitors, first world countries such as Norway and America continue to dominate in bobsledding events. “People win [the Olympics] because of training,” Eviston said. “Other countries are going to have more advanced training facilities than other countries.”
Granted that men have had a four-man bobsledding event since 1924 and a two-man bobsledding event since 1932. Women, however, were not given any bobsledding events until 2002, when they were allowed a two-woman event. While the monobobbing event is only for women, female bobsledders were hoping for a four-woman sled event, not the monobob.
The inequality seen in female versus male bobsledding events is also seen in other events as well. Ward specifically watches the Nordic skiing event. “There are different distances that men ski versus women. I think that women could probably do the same distance,” Ward added.
Above all, monobobbing pushes one’s body as it requires one woman to run the sled down the track, push off, leap into the sled, and drive. While women from around the world will be competing in the monobobbing event, a push for a four-women bobsledding event in the next games will be headed by the International Bobsled Foundation (IBSF).
“I don’t know if I could tell myself to train for multiple years; to get up everyday and to keep wanting to do it. It’s all mental,” Evinston said.
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