Paramonovo bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track
During the 1970s, the Soviet Union found success in luge with Vera Zozula, Dainis Bremse, Algars Kirkis, and Sergey Danilin at the Winter Olympics, FIL World Luge Championships, and FIL European Luge Championships. By 1986, a track at Sigulda in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (now Latvia) was completed which allowed bobsledders and lugers to compete. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in late 1991, which included Latvia's independence a year earlier, the Sigulda track became part of Latvia as a result. This caused Russia's bobsleigh and luge program to suffer throughout most of that decade. In the late 1990s, Russia began to gather success again in bobsleigh, luge, specifically with Alexandre Zoubkov and Albert Demtschenko who won a total of two Winter Olympic medals (both at the 2006 games), four world championship medals (all by Zoubkov), and three European luge championships medals (all by Demtschenko). Russia also won a world championship medal in skeleton in 2003. Because of the success of the Russian sliding teams, it was decided to construct not one, but two new tracks. The first would be near Moscow while the second one would be in Krasnaya Polyana with the latter part of Sochi's bid to earn the 2014 Winter Olympics. The foundation stone was laid down in February 2007. By July 2007, 400 meters of the track had been completed. Track construction was completed in December 2007. Official opening of the track occurred on 10 March 2008. Construction cost for the track was USD45 million. The Russian national championships also took place during that time. The track was partially homologated by the International Luge Federation (FIL) during the weekend of 29 March 2009. Over 100 runs were performed from the three different start houses (Men's singles, Women's singles/ men's doubles, and juniors) without any accidents occurring. Reasons the track was not fully homologated included extending the safety walls and location to store the sleds and equipment at the women's start house. According to Germany's Klaus Bonsack, a member of the FIL Track Construction Commission, brickwork has already been completed for a hotel near the track. The track will debut by hosting the first two Luge Junior World Cups on 7–12 December 2009. Homologation for the track was given for this event on 8 December 2009. The first bobsleigh and skeleton competition took place at the track on 21 March 2010.
The track has 19 curves with an elevation difference of 105 meters. Because of the natural elevation difference of only 78 meters, the first 300 meters of the track are mounted on steel pillars up to 27 meters high. Starting from a tower like that of Sigulda, Latvia, the track has a maximum grade of 15%.
Track technical details
Because of Russian environmental regulations prohibiting the outdoor usage of ammonia refrigeration systems, three cooling systems consisting of an ammonia-carbon dioxide cascade system was used.
- Men's singles luge world champions since 1955
- Women's singles luge world champions since 1955
- Men's doubles world luge champions since 1955
- History of sport in Sigulda in English
- Bobsleigh four-man Olympic medalists: 1924, 1932-56, and since 1964
- Luge men's singles Olympic medalists since 1964 - accessed February 24, 2008
- List of Bobsleigh two-man world championship medalists since 1931
- Bobsleigh four-man world championships medalists since 1930
- List of European championship medalists in men's singles luge since 1914. - accessed 24 February 2008.
- List of European championship medalists in men's doubles luge since 1914. - accessed 24 February 2008.
- List of world championship medalists in women's skeleton since 2000. - accessed 24 February 2008.
- A lot is being done at the world's artificially-iced tracks. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (23 November 2006 article accessed 20 February 2008.)
- FIL President Josef Fendt guest of honor during laying of the foundation stone. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (15 February 2007 article accessed 21 February 2008.)
- Expected completion in February/ March 2008. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (20 July 2007 article accessed 21 February 2008.)
- Skeletonsport.com 28 December 2007 story on the Moscow track opening up. - accessed 23 February 2008.
- Official opening with future President Medvedev and Fendt. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (10 March 2008 article accessed 13 March 2008.)
- Cost of atificially refrigerated track in Paramonovo only 45 million US dollars. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (30 April 2008 article accessed 1 May 2008.)
- Paramonovo has been homologated on certain conditions. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (31 March 2009 article accessed 4 April 2009.)
- Debut for Paramonovo. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (17 September 2009 article accessed 18 September 2009.)
- International baptism of fir for FIL Junior World Cup. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (8 December 2009 article accessed 9 December 2009.)
- Paramonovo Holds Baltic Series Race. at the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (23 March 2010 article accessed 24 March 2010.)
- Rusem.ru pictures of Paramonovo track under construction in 2008 - accessed March 11, 2008.
- Official website (English) & (Russian)
- USALuge.org photo gallery of the Moscow bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track under construction in November 2007. - accessed February 24, 2008.