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Terrifying photos from the Beijing Olympics shows just how dangerous bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge can be

Yanqing National Sliding Center at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The Yanqing National Sliding Center hosted bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge events for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
  • Bobsled, skeleton, and luge are typically among the most dangerous events at the Winter Olympics.
  • At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, the sliding sports took place on a course nicknamed "The Dragon."
  • A photo of the track forming a near 90-degree angle with the ground shows the perils of the events.

Even the most casual Olympics viewers know that sliding sports at the Winter Games — bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, and now monobob — are among the most dangerous.

For these events, athletes use various types of sleds to slide down a giant, ice-covered track while clocking higher speeds than the average car manages while driving on the highway. The perils of these sports are fairly plain to see while watching on the TV screen half a world away.

Bobsleigh track at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Switzerland's Melanie Hasler drives her bobsled past a course maintenance official during a women's monobob training session at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

But they're even more apparent — and all the more terrifying — up close.

Photos of the course used for the 2022 Beijing Olympics showcase just how high-risk bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, and monobob can be. Yanqing National Sliding Center, known colloquially as "The Dragon," boasts 16 curves and a nearly 40-story vertical drop across a stretch of 5,299 feet.


Yanqing National Sliding Center.
The 2022 Beijing Olympic track from above.

That doesn't even include the most jarring factor of all; at various points on the course, the track comes close to forming a 90-degree angle with the ground.

When things go awry, some athletes find their runners — or blades — slipping off the ice, sending their sleds flying through the air and their bodies tumbling off the course.

It's not pretty:

Two German athletes suffer a crash during a luge event.
Two German athletes suffer a crash during a luge event.

Some athletes have even died from the injuries they sustained from sliding sport crashes. Since 1964, two luge competitors have died at the Olympic Games. No other sport at the Summer or Winter Olympics has resulted in as many casualties.

Still, many athletes from around the world manage to put their fear aside to compete for the glory of an Olympic medal. You can check out what it's really like to take on "The Dragon" by watching this helmet-cam clip of a skeleton ride at the Yanqing National Sliding Center.

Good luck:


Read the original article on Insider


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