Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bells on Bobsleighs Ring

I think tobogganing as a competitive sport would be great. Wouldn’t it be fun to see a team of 5 or 6 guys careering down a mountainside on a suped-up Olympic-caliber toboggan?

I was watching some more Winter Olympics yesterday, and they were talking about some fellow who is the director or something of the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation. Well, I’ve never seen tobogganing in the Olympics, nor have I seen it as a sport in any World Cup events.

So I thought that our crack team of investigators at Snow Shoveling in Canada had better check this out.

First, we googled “bobsleigh and tobogganing”. First hit was However, the website description is FIBT the international home of Bobsleigh and Skeleton sports. No mention of tobogganing.

Further investigation on their site revealed this corporate information: "The Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) is the religiously and politically neutral international non-governmental organisation administering the sports of Bobsleigh [including Bob-on-the-Road] and Skeleton." Skeleton, not tobogganing. Shouldn't they be the FIBS?

But, wait a minute. BOB-ON-THE-ROAD??? What the heck is that? More investigation required I’m afraid.

Googling “bob-on-the-road” revealed a book titled Goodnight Jim Bob: On the Road with "Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine". That doesn’t sound like what we’re looking for. Another result was lyrics for Dylan, Bob - On the Road Again. Another strike.

So we searched “bob-on-the-road” together with “bobsleigh” and found a blurb on a site that says in part “…the international practice of “bob on the road” is authorized, to encourage countries which do not possess bob tracks.”

Ah, there it is. So the countries that do not have bobsled tracks just take their 2 and 4 man sleds to the streets! Further investigation of this would perhaps reveal what kind of street racing you might see in Iceland. I don’t know what the winter driving conditions are like in other countries, but I sure wouldn’t want to commute to work on anything resembling a bobsled track (unless I did so on a sled).

Now you may have noticed that I’ve used two different words here: bobsleigh and bobsled. Personally, I like the latter. Bobsledding is the sport. Bobsleigh sounds more like something used in a fun, leisurely activity. Listen to a number of Christmas songs and they all say sleigh instead of sled. Sled wouldn’t work. Lyrics would have to change.

…they know that Santa is well-fed. He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sled…” That’s no good.

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sled, o’er the fields we go, laughing ‘til we’re dead”. Neither sled nor dead should be used in a Christmas song. Incidentally, this song also contains the lyrics "Bells on bobsleighs ring...".

Besides, don’t you think bobsled somehow sounds faster than bobsleigh?

2010 Medal update!!!!

U.S. - 28
Canada - 15

Many indignant Canucks will say to this “Oh, yeah! Well you Americans have ten times the population we do.”

More investigation is required by the SSIC team to see how countries with populations 10 times smaller than Canada are doing at these games.

Moldova, Liberia, Panama, Lithuania, Uruguay, Mauritania, and the Republic of Congo all have zero medals. A goose egg! Someone might argue that many of these aren’t cold weather places and so one shouldn’t be surprised. But what about Lapland, Antarctica, Baffin Island, Siberia, and even the once mighty U.S.S.R.? You don’t see any of them listed in the medal standings.

So there!

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