The south-east neighbourhood of Innsbruck Igls hides touristic gem the Olympic Sliding Centre a venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. This venue is the world’s first combined artificial ice track, a course on which all bob-sled, luge and skeleton competitions are held.
For the first time world bobsleigh championships in Igls was held in 1935, however due to several fatal accidents at the finishing curve the track was temporarily closed. After Innsbruck was awarded with an organisation of the Winter Olympic Games in 1964, the old track was demolished and the new two separate artificial ice tracks made of concrete were built. During the test runs twenty injuries occurred and one fatal accident, nevertheless the track was used for the Olympics. Both tracks were demolished in preparation for second Winter Olympic Games held here in 1976 and the new single, combined artificial ice track for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton was built. It set the new rules in building tracks; it was the first of its kind, because for the first time it was possible to hold all Olympic sliding on a single track. Since then the track was renovated several times, but the skeleton stayed the same.
Visitors are able to experience bob-sledding in winter where a qualified pilot and a brake-man will accompany two guests per ride in an original Olympic race bob-sled down the 1270 meter long track featuring 14 curves. Also in the summer months it is possible to experience bob-sled on the asphalt track.
You can reach the bobsleigh track by the public bus in just a few minutes from the city centre. For those who are interested in adrenaline sports this place is a must visit.
If you want more information about the Winter Olympic Games venues in Tyrol check my reports about the Olympic Village in Innsbruck, the Bergisel Ski Jump and the ski resorts around the city of Innsbruck.
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