Bobsledding, Whistler Sliding Centre

Ron Niebrugge Canada, Photos, Travel 12 Comments

Bobsleigh or Bobsled at the Whistler Sliding Centre, Canada

Bobsleigh or Bobsled at the Whistler Sliding Centre, Canada

We were disappointed at first to learn that the brand new Whistler Sliding Centre was closed to the public during our stay here at Whistler.  You see, there is a World Cup event being held here this weekend, and the various countries from around the world were here doing training runs this week.  We made some inquiries, and fortunately we were able to obtain press passes to photograph the facility and the training – I gotta say, what an amazing treat to be able to stand just feet away as bobsleds zoomed by at over a hundred miles an hour!

whistler-sliding-centre

Without a doubt this was the hardest thing I have ever photographed.  Despite how this event appears on TV, the turns are very short and tight, and the bobsleighs are traveling really fast – they blast by in and out of sight in just a fraction of a second.  To get a photo like the one above, I pre-focused and waited until I saw the slightest bit of movement or color, and hit the shutter just as quickly as I could.  There was only time for a single frame, and it was very difficult to get the sled at the uphill side of the frame like you see here.  What helped was holding my head back from the camera so that I could see the sled in my peripheral vision so that I could see it before it even entered the frame.  I also panned with the bobsleigh at times, and that worked well except for situations like this where I wanted to capture the track logo in the image along with the bobsled.

We watched the two women and four man teams practice.  The starts were like watching a well choreographed dance as each person quickly tucked themselves into a tiny space after pushing and running as hard as possible. 

start

I gotta admit it was a total rush seeing this event up close – the speeds are incomprehensible.  And walking among world class athletes wearing uniforms from places like Germany, Russia, the U.S and Canada was really exciting, definitely the highlight of the trip!

Here are more Whistler pictures.

Comments 12

  1. Post
    Author
  2. Post
    Author
  3. Hey Ron,

    “hardest thing you’ve ever photographed”, eh? You’ve never tried to photograph me bombin’ down some fresh powder slopes on my snowboard. 🙂

    Sounds like you’re having a blast – I’ll do my best to catch up on your travels and get up to date. Great images.

    Cheers

    Carl

  4. Post
    Author

    Hey Carl,

    It was the hardest thing I have “photographed” as in actually captured the subject. You see, those guys are only going a hundred miles an hour or so. You on the other hand, much different story.

    Thanks man,

    Ron

  5. Hi Ron,

    I am the pilot from team Australia who was just out in Whistler training on the new track. Did you happen to get any shots of me? If so let me know, I’d love to see how they turned out and maybe grab a few copies

    Cheers
    Chris

  6. Post
    Author

    Hi Chris,

    Hey thanks for the comment – let me look through my files and see what I have – that would be great if I have something of you or your team. What color was your sled?

    That must be a rush!

    Ron

  7. Thanks Ron,

    Yeah Its quite the rush but you get used to it after a while. The sled is painted green and it has Australia written across the side.

    Let me know if anything turns up.
    Cheers
    Chris

  8. Post
    Author

    Hi Chris,

    Just looked through all my shoots, I have photos of a green sled, but it doesn’t say Australia on the side I’m able to see. Judging from the sponsor names, it appears to be German. The most visible name on the side is Glapor which I understand is a German foam glass company. If this is your sled, let me know and I will send you pics.

    Good luck in the Olympics! Now I will have someone to watch for.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  9. Yeah its the Germany 2 womens sled. Oh well thats OK. Thanks for taking such an interest in our peculiar sport. The more exposure we get the better. Good luck with everything and maybe I’ll see you at the games.
    Chris
    P.S, There is another training week scheduled for Whistler in late OCT, early NOV if your up for more action. Full schedule of events is at http://www.fibt.com

  10. Post
    Author

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks again for commenting. I live in Alaska – Whistler is pretty far away, but you never know – I would love to photograph more bobsled so you never know. Thanks for the heads up on the schedule.

    Ron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.