The twists and turns in bobsleigh are usually to be found in the course rather than the results. At the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth OIympic Games, however, the bobsleigh event provided several unexpected results both the men’s and women’s pairs competitions.
An overjoyed Italian team won the two-man event with a total time of 1:49.14 minutes, having raced into first place after putting down a second run that was 0.18 seconds faster than any other team. The pair had a nervous wait in the finish area to discover if they had won fold, however, as the three top finishers from the first run still had to go. In a result that’s rare in bobsleigh, none of the first run’s top pairs could catch the Italians, and the duo celebrated with gusto after sealing first place. The silver medal went to Benjamin Maier (AUT) and Robert Ofensberger (AUT), who had two consistent runs and recorded a total time of 1:49.23. Monaco’s team of driver Rudy Rinaldi and brakeman Jeremy Torre took the bronze medal with a time of 1:49.31 as HSH The Sovereign Prince Albert II (MON), a five-time Olympian in bobsleigh, and member of the International Olympic Committee, cheered them on from the finish area.
Bobsleigh Men - Results - Medalists
The outcome of the female pairs bobsleigh was not decided until the final moments. Marije Van Huigencosch (NED) and Sanne Dekker (NED) took gold with a total time of 1.51.62 minutes. But the Dutch duo had to wait for their teammates and first-run winners Kimberley Bos and Mandy Groot to complete their second run before they could be sure of their final placing. Bos and Groot were the last to take the second run. They looked to be on their way to a gold medal when they went off their line in the seventh turn and added several critical tenths of a second to their time. This put them into bronze medal position with a time of 1:52.15, just behind an astonished Great Britain team of Mica McNeill and Jazmin Sawyers, who had already launched into ebullient celebration when they discovered that their time of 1:51.95 meant a sure trip to the podium. The top results from the Netherlands and Great Britain showed that these two nations, neither a traditional powerhouse in the sport of bobsleigh, might have a bright future in the sport.
Bobsleigh Women - Results - Medalists