February 27, 2018 9:27 pm

Wednesday, Fly Down the Track with Olympic Gold Medalist Bobsledders Curt Tomasevicz and Steve Mesler

On this week’s episode of Playing with Science. “It’s bobsled time.”

Stockbyte image of bobsled racing.

Photo Credit: Stockbyte.

Join Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly at the starting gate as we get ready to take a run at the dangerous, daring world of bobsledding with the help of StarTalk veteran astrophysicist Charles Liu. Charles helps put into perspective the forces at work on the athletes as they rocket down the hill. We’ll investigate the science behind reaching terminal velocity, and explore how it feels to be pushing 5g in a turn.

To provide us with the athlete’s perspective, Olympic gold medalist Curt Tomasevicz, member of the 2010 gold-medal winning US Bobsled team, offers an insider’s look at what it’s like to fly down the track. You’ll hear how Curt got into bobsledding, how much the weather impacts the runs, how bobsled tracks are planned and built, and what it’s really like to drive a sled.

Next, Curt’s 2010 gold-medal winning teammate Steve Mesler joins the group to discuss the communication, or lack thereof, between the driver and their teammates on the track. Find out how his sled got the nickname “Night Train” and how team members sync up with each other before the start of the run.

If you’ve been watching this year’s Olympics, you may have the same questions I had about bobsledding. This episode answered many of my questions, including whether there are different kinds of ice on a track, and, most importantly, whether it’s correct to say “bobsled” or “bobsleigh.” I even found out how bobsledders train for the Olympics, which, it turns out, is nothing like my favorite Olympic movie, Cool Runnings.

Please tune in tomorrow night for Bobsledding, with Olympic Gold Medalists Curt Tomasevicz & Steve Mesler at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our Playing with Science channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more