Sport: Cold Fury

The world's No. 1 bobsledder is a coal-and-ice dealer from Cortina, Italy. Eugenio Monti, 32, broke both legs in a skiing accident years ago; one cheek is deeply scarred from a splintering crash two years ago at St. Moritz, when his sled turned a double-somersault. "Brakes?" snorts Monti. "You should use them only to stop at the finish."

Redheaded Gene Monti spends his idle hours polishing the Swedish steel runners of his sled to a high glint, lovingly stores them away in wrappings of lamb's wool.

Before a race he clumps up and down the...

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