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22 February 2016

The rise of the Monobob outsiders


How top winter athletes emerged from lands of endless sunshine.

Monobob is fast, very fast. On the track, it can reach speeds of up to 130 km/hour and can exert a gravitational force of three G's! And you're on your own out there. As the name suggests, there's only one athlete doing the pushing, steering and braking. To take it up as a sport, you need courage. You also need snow, which is not exactly thick on the ground in the tropics.

But why should a competitor from a hot country miss out on the ultimate winter sport?
And what's to stop them becoming a world champion? At OMEGA, we decided to level out the sleighing field, by inviting keen downhill racers from the sunny side of the globe, to Switzerland's St. Moritz and the first ever OMEGA FIBT Youth Monobob Series in 2012.

More than 20 young athletes representing eight countries, including Brazil and Jamaica, participated in the international competition and had access to training and coaching in the days leading up to the exciting finale.

As the participants made their way down the run, they had their sights set on one goal: qualifying for the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, where the dynamic new sport will make its Olympic debut.

Fast forward to the event in question and our warm weather athletes prove that the absence of snow back home and the intimidating presence of experienced northern European naturals, just makes them all the more determined to succeed. No gold medals this time around, but it's a young sport and they've only just begun, so time is on their side.

It was in 2011 that OMEGA announced its active participation in the development of Monobob, a cool winter sport ideal for newcomers. It's a tough event and not for everyone, but the door is open to athletes from all over the world.

All they need is courage and determination. Snow is optional.