Chamonix 1924 Olympics

Chamonix 1924 Olympics

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Bobsledding

Bobsledding

The morning sun slowly rises in the east… sparkling and glistening off the icy track as Olympics’ bobsledders prepare for a run. The course that stretches below them is often as steep as fifteen percent and racing speeds can easily reach 150 mph. To add to the excitement, there are thrilling icy turns… and the walls of the curves are sometimes higher than 20 feet, with a vertical lip that prevents the sled from careening up and out of the turn. Once the team captain makes a final check of the sleek sled, he crawls in behind the bobsled’s aerodynamic cowling. This skilled man – who literally holds the lives of his teammates in his hands – is in charge of steering the sled as it speeds down the icy course. With ice flying up from their spiked shoes as they strive for the greatest starting velocity, the other three team members begin to push the sled from a fixed point behind the starting line. As the team members finally jump onto the sled, the last to take his seat is the brakeman, who operates the ice brake – a bar with sharp metal teeth that bite into the ice – anytime the sled chances into a dangerous skid throughout the exhilarating run. To honor the exciting events of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, the United States Postal Service issued the block of four stamps that are featured on the front of this First Day Cover.