Last Autumn the BBSA, The British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, withdrew funding from the GB Womens bobsleigh team. This meant that they could not compete in any of the upcoming world class events over the winter period.
Team driver Mica McNeill set about raising money through sponsorship and “crowdfunding” and raised an amazing £30,000 in just a week from crowdfunding alone which is quite a remarkable acheivement.
Compare Holiday Money stepped up to the plate and offered the team sponsorship as well, and the amount they managed to raise in such a short time allowed them to go on to compete in all the World class winter competitions and at the time of writing Mica and her teamate Mica Moore were achieving top 10 finishes in many of their races and are improving their chances of a podium finish all the time.
A recent article from BBC Sport has a great video of Mica McNeill talking about the crowdfunding campaign and lots of information about future events.
Mica is no stranger to the sport and first won a silver medal at the Youth Games in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012 but how far does the sport go back?
The event comes from the pastime of sledding, or going down an icy hill on not much more than a board attached to some runners. It developed into a sport towards the end of the 19th Century and the name appeared when competitors adopted the style of bobbing back and forth inside the sled to increase its speed. Steering mechanisms were introduced into the sleds and two types developed, the bobsleigh (bobsled) and the skeleton which is ridden head first and has been likened to travelling down a ski slope on a tray!
Men’s bobsleigh events appeared in the first winter Olympic games in 1924. Womens bobsleigh events did not start until 1983 in the United states and amazingly did not get on to the Olympic events list until 2002.
What’s it like to bobsled?
Fast, exciting and potentially dangerous! Modern day sleighs combine light metals, steel runners and an aerodynamic composite body for speed and durability but have no comfort and it’s a bouncy, bone shaking ride that reaches speeds of 80 miles an hour.
Here is a video filmed by Mica McNeill herself on the track at Oberhof in Germany and gives an insight into the ride without the pain!
We wish the girls the best of luck for the rest of the winter season and all the upcoming major competitions.