|Posted by lugenz on January 13, 2012 at 8:40 AM|
Buried under the snow at Igls/Innsbruck Olympic Sliding Centre, the site of the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton at these 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games, are the remains of the track that was used for the 1964 Olympic Winter Games (OWG) sliding events. In 1964 the track wasn't refrigerated and it wasn't until the 1976 OWG, also at Innsbruck, that the Olympic sliding athletes first experienced a refrigerated track. The world's first refrigerated track was opened literally down the road in Konigssee/Germany in 1969. Prior to refrigeration the tracks were shaped out of snow and ice with corners often being made of bricks (see following picture) in which large ice blocks cut out of local lakes were packed and then shaped to provide safe profiles for the corners. With all the snow we have had the old track looks like it could be made operational if the refrigeration was to fail on the new track! The old unrefrigerated tracks were bumpy and nothing like the smooth tracks of today. And of course the speeds of today are much greater due to the condition of the track and the huge advancements in sled and equipment technology.