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30 January 2005

Swimmers on ice

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The unusual pairing promised great action as the world's best swimmers teamed up with Switzerland's most experience bobsleigh pilots for the thrill of a lifetime. Heading the highly competitive field were international Omega ambassadors Ian Thorpe and Alexander Popov. The bitterly cold weather, combined with the dedication of the helpers at the Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz Celerina, provided for one of the fastest runs ever, with the bobs reaching top speeds of up to 150 km/h. <br/>

The accent on this year's Omega Celebrity Bobsleigh Cup in St. Moritz was placed firmly on the athleticism that is required for this adrenaline-fired sport. Taking its cue from the origins of the sport, when the majority of bobsleigh teams were made up of athletes before the sport took on its professional character of today, Omega was proud to field a group of swimmers that collectively won a total of 21 medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games alone.



The stars included Omega's international brand ambassadors, Ian Thorpe and Alexander Popov, as well as the brand's very latest signing in Romania, Olympic gold medallist Camelia Potec. The other swimmers battling for a place on the podium were Inge de Bruijn from the Netherlands, Antje Buschschulte and Thomas Rupprath from Germany, Fernando "Xuxa" Scherrer from Brazil and Takashi Yamamoto from Japan.



After posing for photographers in their special Omega competition bobsleigh suits, the teams geared up for the unique 75-second adrenaline rush of hurtling down the world's only natural-ice bobsleigh run, the Olympia Bobrun St. Moritz - Celerina. After the final of the men's two-man bobsleigh world cup event, some of Switzerland's most experienced bobsleigh pilots took it in turns to ferry the Omega guests down the run at speeds of up to 150km/h and 3-4g - enough to rattle the nerves of all but the most resistant sportsmen and women.



The numerous spectators and press who had turned up to witness the unique event even got more than they bargained for, as the Omega Bobsleigh Cup saw a bob overturn for the first time in its four year history. Luckily, the unfortuante passengers - German swimmers Antje Buschschulte and Thomas Rupprath - were given the all-clear by the doctors once their bobsleigh had been pulled to the finish.



Despite confident predictions, none of the swimmers topped the leader board, having been beaten by Omega retailers and journalists.

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