Junior Reporter: Four-Man Bobsledding

March 3, 2018

Olympics reporter Celeste M is back with her report of on the four-man bobsledding race. Celeste, you might consider either bobsledding… or journalism in the future! Great work.

There comes a time where everything has to end, and one day prior to the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, bobsledding is hitting its final leg. With only the third and fourth runs to view, it’s already really hard to watch. The end is so near, and the stakes are so high—every country is rooting for their players, and those players are representing the best of the best. Needless to say, everyone is a little nervous. So without further interruptions, here are the final two runs for bobsledding in PyeongChang!

To begin, only the top twenty teams have advanced to the third run in four-man bobsledding. The teams consist of a driver, a brakeman, and two push athletes. The first team to go is Germany 2, with the driver being Francesco Friedrich, who you might recognize as the German pilot who tied for gold with Canada in the February 18th two-man competition! He started the third run off with a time of 2 minutes and 26.31 seconds. Next was South Korea 1. Pilot Won Yun-Jong missed beating Germany’s time by just 0.42 seconds, but the run kept him in second place! The third place team, Germany 3, went next. They were lead by pilot Nico Walther, who finished 0.49 seconds behind the winning time. It seemed that Germany’s second team had a pretty solid standing in first place! Next was Canada’s first team, led by pilot Justin Kripps. Sound familiar? Probably because he was tied with fellow competitor Francesco Friedrich for gold in the two-man competition, and he certainly wasn’t known for being slow. Everyone hoped that maybe he’d knock Germany 2 out of first place!

By Dayey – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via @wikimediacommons

However, those hopes were quickly knocked down when the team started late by 0.55 seconds and ended up finishing with a time of 2 minutes and 27.08 seconds, a full 0.7 seconds behind Francesco! People were beginning to think that Germany would be leading the third run! Germany 2 finished a full second behind. These teams were going a lot slower than usual, which is not surprising though, as there is a lot more weight and pressure on the sled in four-man bobsledding. The United States finished even slower with a time that was 1.2 seconds behind. Great Britain finished even slower than the United States—2 seconds slower! The other US team finished with a time of 2.53—things were looking very good for Francesco! Another US team managed to pull forward a little in the beginning but ended with the same time as its predecessor. The next US team, led by pilot Justin Olsen, was in 21st place and then completed a run in 2 minutes and 28.99 seconds, moving him up to the 20th position. The final five standings left Germany 2 on top, followed by South Korea 1, Germany 3, Canada, and Switzerland 2. It’s pretty easy to tell that Francesco Friedrich dominated the third run!

By USA CC by 2.0, via @Wikimedia Commons

The fourth run followed soon after with a little break in between for figure skating. Pilot Justin Olsen began for Team USA and finished with a time of 3 minutes and 18.55 seconds. Olsen had actually participated in the two-man competition only two-weeks after having surgery. Pretty impressive if you ask me! Pilot Nick Cunningham followed with the 19th place US team. They passed Olsen by a hundredth of a second! Another US pilot, Cody Basque, led his sled next and pulled forward with a time 0.13 seconds faster than Latvia’s team! During his run, he struggled with entering the bobsled, which slowed down his time quite a lot! One of the German pilots, Johannes Lochner, then sled next, but 0.21 seconds slower than Austria’s time, dropping him one spot! Switzerland 2 continued the four-man run and finished with a time of 3 minutes 16.59 seconds, 0.06 seconds faster than Latvia, the quickest time for the heat so far! The Canadian team then started their run with the fastest start time so far; however, on the fourth line, pilot Justin Kripps oversteered and was 0.01 seconds slower, ending up 0.10 seconds slower than Switzerland! German pilot Nico Walther went next (he finished fourth in the two-man event) and pushed Germany into first place! This guaranteed him at least a bronze medal!

By Republic of Korea from Seoul, Republic of Korea – via @Wikimedia Commons

Only two sleds remained: South Korea, piloted by Won Yun-Jong (who had completed more runs than anyone competing), and Germany. South Korea was 0.1 seconds behind for two lines, and it finally ended with the same time as Germany! This meant Nico Walter and Won Yun-Jong would both receive a silver medal! The final team to go was Francesco Friedrich’s team—if he won, it would be his second gold medal. Those who watched the third run (or read the beginning of my article) know he completely dominated the competition, so hopes were high during the fourth run, which seemed to be going pretty smoothly so far. He pulled ahead by almost a full second—0.55 seconds to be exact. It seemed almost certain he would fall into first place, and he did just that! Friedrich had become one of only six athletes to win two gold medals by pulling forward with a time of 0.53 seconds faster than Walther and Yun-Jung! Germany had, for the third time in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, won gold in a bobsledding competition, this time in the four-man race!

This concludes bobsledding in PyeongChang, and it also concludes the Winter Olympics in general! These games were really fun to watch, and if you haven’t checked it out, you should look at the NBC live streams! If you haven’t watched the Closing Ceremony, you should check that out on the NBC website too! Here’s to many more Olympic Games. I’m already looking forward to the Summer Games!