What About Bob? (Sled)

“Excuse me, sir … Does your sled have a name?”  

“Yessir, it does have a name: Bob.”
“Bob?”
“Yessir.  Bob Sled.”
 
(Image to the left fromWikipedia …
The Swiss bobsleigh team from Davos, c. 1910)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobsleigh

“The name of the sport appeared when competitors adopted the technique of bobbing back and forth inside the sled to increase its speed (“bobsledding (sport) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2014-02-21).

Those guys, in the image (above right), look pretty wild … but that sled, going 140 km/h?

Pilot Steven Holcomb, Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt of the United States team 1 finish the final run during the Men´s Four Man Bobsleigh on day 16 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Pilot Steven Holcomb, Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt of the United States team 1 finish the final run during the Men’s Four Man Bobsleigh on day 16 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images) http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/olympics/20140224_U_S__takes_bronze_in_four-man_bobsled.html

As I watched these Olympic Bobsledders in Sochi … yelling out yawps, sprinting beside the sleds, and jumping in, one after another …  I was reminded of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (James Thurber).  The Walter Mitty character was ” … a vague and mild-mannered man … has five heroic daydream episodes.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_Mitty)

  1. A pilot of a U.S. Navy flying boat in a storm;
  2. A magnificent surgeon performing a one-of-a-kind surgery;
  3. A deadly assassin testifying in a courtroom;
  4. A Royal Air Force Pilot volunteering for a daring, secret suicide mission to bomb an ammunition dump; 
  5. And as the story ends, Mitty imagines himself facing a firing squad.

Yes, I can hear the announcer now.

“Next up, representing the Americans, the Wilder Man on Rolling Creek team.  The Wilder Man’s team’s first run has put them in first place, and they are in good position to be on the podium for the Gold.”

Advertisements

2 Replies to “What About Bob? (Sled)”

  1. I love the old pictures of athletes from years gone by. In the mid 50’s, Roger Bannister was the first to do the 4 minute mile (requires an average speed of 15 mph!) and did it without a lot of training, even by standards current then, Today, with all the modern equipment, training and nutritional information we have, they’ve shaved only (only?!?!) 13 seconds off that time. Something else, huh?!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s