Family Sled Race

by Weam Namou

Watch the race!!!

The first sleds, or toboggans, were used by native tribes of North America. In regions covered for months at a time by snow, a snow sled was the most efficient way of transporting heavy loads across long distances. A snow sled designed specifically to transport people, called the cariole, appeared around 1800.

In 1883 in Davos, Switzerland, an Australian student named George Robertson won what is reputed to be the world’s first international sled race. In 1892, the original “Davos” style sled was transformed by an Englishman named L. P. Child. Many thought the newly designed “bare-bones” sled resembled a skeleton. For this reason the sport of individual “head-first” sledding eventually became known as “Skeleton” racing. “Bobsledding”, with multiple riders, was also developed in Switzerland in the late 1800’s.

Cool Runnings, made in 1993, told the story (loosely based on true events) of the attempt of the four Jamaican men to bring home the most unlikely of medals – for the winter sport of bobsledding.
In today’s family sled race, I have no clue who in the won as they were mostly bumping into each other, falling or jumping off the sled, or I was busy fidgeting with my camera’s iPhone as the winner crossed the line (as I’m too scared to go down the hill, I’m appointed to be the camera person, the one who pulls kids out of the way, and the judge in a race).

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