As kids we didn’t understand aerodynamics, but we figured out that we could ride faster and have more fun on our sleds if we lay down on them. But some spoil sport adult always made us stop because it was dangerous.
It seems we were both right.
In skeleton the athletes lie on their stomachs face first with their chins inches above the ice on a sled-thing that looks a lot like a cookie sheet with tiny runners. Then they plummet head first down an icy tunnel at speeds up to 80 mph.
But wait, there’s more.
To get a fast start they run at top speed and jump on the cookie sheet as they're headed down the slope. To navigate through the steep curves of the tunnel they torque their heads and bodies in ways I don’t quite understand.
It’s a timed run so if they touch the icy wall with their helmets or bodies, they are slowed down by the hundredths of seconds that could keep them off the podium.
Although it is entertaining and it looks terrifying, it isn’t as cool as some of the other sports—skating, snow boarding, skiing, curling.
Yes, definitely cooler than luge.