The USA Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF), the sports official governing body in America, and BMW of North America, have released the first official sketch and information on a new two-man bobsled that will be used by Team USA in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
"This project was sparked by a request made by USBSF of BMW to assist the team in shoring up a technology gap specific to the innovation of the U.S. two-man sled," said the Bavarian company's North American arm in a statement.
"While Team USA achieved momentous success at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold medal in the four-man bobsled event, the two-man Olympic gold is one that has eluded the U.S. since 1936," it added.
BMW said it began development of the new bobsled last year after examining the design of and performance history of existing two-man sled platforms, one of which has been the default bobsled of Team USA for over two decades.
The prototype model pairs lightweight materials with optimized aerodynamics and chassis dynamics to leverage the energy output of the two-man team. BMW has already delivered the first models to USBSF, which will test and refine them in the next year.
"By bringing BMW in to provide its expertise, we see an opportunity to close an equipment gap between Team USA and countries that have historically led Olympic two-man bobsled competition," said Darrin Steele, chief executive officer of USBSF.