The Cresta Run is allowing women to race this iconic track in Switzerland.
News from the BBC.
After an 89-year ban was overturned, women will be allowed to race down the iconic Cresta Run toboggan track in Switzerland this season.
Women had been allowed to race with men on equal terms until the 1920s when it was deemed medically dangerous, due to be able to provoke breast cancer amongst other things, for the pressure of riding face down.
However at a St Moritz Tobogganing Club meeting members voted by a two-thirds majority to allow women to ride the Cresta Run again and become members.
“It’s a good step forward,” GB skeleton racer Jerry Rice told BBC Sport.
“They are moving forward and I agree that it’s time for the women to be able to slide like the men. I look forward to seeing women on the run.”
The St Moritz Tobogganing Club was founded by British Military officers in 1887.
Rice worked at the world’s oldest natural ice run for two seasons and reckons he has hurled himself down the 1,325-yard track up to 200 times.
“I got into Cresta through my dad, who was a member and had been for a number of years,” he said.
“I worked two full seasons and I’ve probably done between 150-200 runs.
“That’s how I got into skeleton – someone said to me ‘you’re pretty good at this, perhaps you should give skeleton a go’, so I did.”
Rice, who is racing on the World Cup circuit this year, finished 10th at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where team-mate Dom Parsons won bronze. Lizzy Yarnold defended her Olympic title in the women’s race, with fellow Briton Laura Deas finishing third.
“There are some big differences between the sports [tobboganing and skeleton] but both are similar in terms of how it feels,” added Rice.
“You’re at the top of a track and about to hurtle down at about 80mph with no breaks and not much protection.
“It’s a nerve-wracking experience, just as skeleton is. After a while, you get used to both of them, though.”
Women’s skeleton and bobsleigh have been part of the Winter Olympics since 2002, with Britain’s women winning three golds, one silver and two bronze medals and the men collecting three bronzes.
About the SMTC & The Cresta Run
The St Moritz Tobogganing Club, with its world-wide membership, has always enjoyed a strong partnership with the town and people of St Moritz since the first Run was built in the winter of 1884/1885.
The Run and the traditions surrounding it remain constant, although the toboggans and equipment have evolved. It remains one of the last truly amateur sports. The SMTC is a private Club, founded in 1887, three years after the creation of the Cresta Run; its principal activities take place during the winter season in St Moritz.
What is the Cresta Run?
It is a natural ice run, built from scratch every year with snow which is then iced, as from the inception of the Run in the winter of 1884/85. It starts in St Moritz and winds its way down a narrow valley to what was the village of Cresta, but which now forms part of Celerina. It is approximately 3/4 mile (1,212m) in length with a drop of 514 feet (157m). The gradient varies from 1 in 2.8 to 1 in 8.7. The map of our Run gives you additional details.
There are two starting points, Top and Junction. Riders from Junction begin opposite the Clubhouse, about one-third down the Run from Top. Only experienced riders can qualify to ride from Top. The Run has 10 corners, all of which are named. The most infamous is Shuttlecock. If a rider is out of control, he risks going out at Shuttlecock, the most famous corner of the Run. Fallers at Shuttlecock automatically become members of the Shuttlecock Club and are entitled to wear a Shuttlecock tie.
The Cresta usually opens just before Christmas and continues for nine weeks until the end of February/early March and is operated by the St Moritz Tobogganing Club. There are over thirty highly competitive races and riding takes place every day of the season, except Christmas Day.
Members are elected from applicants who have ridden on the Supplementary List, although it is also possible for non-Members to ride the Cresta. Non-Members put their names down on the Supplementary List and become temporary Members for one season as ‘SL Riders’ or ‘SLs’.
Here there was a post of the past St Moritz Gourmet Festival – we’ll update on the new one soon.
St Moritz has a plan to revamp its airport.
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Featured Image: Cresta Run: Women allowed to race iconic track in St Moritz, Switzerland