Bobsleigh history






The History of Bobsleigh

While Great Britain can't claim to be the Home of Bobsleigh - it has a strong claim to being the founder of the sport...

The invention of Bobsleigh has been ascribed to a group of Englishmen on holiday in Switzerland in 1890. In addition there are pictures from the early 1880s of boys at Harrow School hurtling down snowy slopes on toboggans tied together. 

British Bobsleigh was formed in 1927 in New York as the UK Governing Body for the sport. In 1980 the Association was incorporated to become the British Bobsleigh Association Ltd.

The Federation International de Bobsleigh et Tobogganing (FIBT) controls the sports at all international events, and they are based in Milan, Italy. Within UK we have close links with UK Sport, Sport England and the British Olympic Association. We receive funds, both through Exchequer and the Lottery Unit (World Class Performance Plan).

The modern bobsleigh was produced by a small group of young engineers at Leeds prior to the 1980 winter Olympics. It had many novel features, one inspired by Concorde. The world immediately copied and perfected it to what it is today.

Bobsleigh is Britain's most successful winter team sport, although we have yet to repeat the Gold medal achieved by Tony Nash and Robin Dixon in the 1964 Olympics. However in the 1998 Olympics the GB1 4-man team consisting of Sean Olsson, Dean Ward, Paul Attwood and Courtney Rumbolt won Bronze.

Women's bobsleigh is continuing to increase its level of participation competing as an Olympic discipline for the first time in 2002. British women bobsleighers are repeatedly achieving top 3 World placings. Nicola Minichiello and Jackie Davies achieved a startling Silver at the 2005 World Championships and Gold in the 2005 World Push Championships. Paula Walker is the current Number1 British driver and she ranked 15th in the world.

Great Britain Bobsleigh is pre-eminent amongst non-ice nations.

September 2008, BBA members voted in favour of a proposed name change from the 'British Bobsleigh Association' (BBA) to the 'British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association' (BB&SA).