How skeleton is scored

Updated: January 20, 2010, 5:36 PM ET
Associated Press

How skeleton is scored in the Olympics:

Unlike seated bobsledders or lugers, who slide on their backs, skeleton racers soar down the icy track headfirst at speeds approaching 100 mph. There is no steering mechanism in skeleton. Sliders navigate the track by shifting their body weight through the turns. The key is finding the best "line" to the bottom.

For the first time since the sport returned to the Olympics in 2002, there will be four heats -- over two days -- to determine the top three finishers. In the past, sliders only made two runs. The competitor with the lowest combined time after the four runs wins gold. As in the other sliding sports, the start time is crucial in skeleton. Without a competitive start time, placing for a medal is nearly impossible.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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