Bobsledding: Rule Britannia--for Now

A Britisher invented the bobsled. In 1890, Wilson Smith nailed two toboggans together and invited three friends along for a hair-raising ride down a mountain at St. Moritz. Capital idea, decided the Italians, the Swiss and the Americans, who added steel runners, steering wheels, crash helmets, specially constructed bobsled runs, speeds up to 90 m.p.h.—and took turns dominating the sport. The U.S. won five championships in the 1930s and '40s, and Italy's great steersman, Eugenic Monti, led his team to eight world titles (both two-man and four-man) in seven years.

Now Britannia...

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