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All Photos: Viesturs Lacis
Lausanne (RWH) On March 8 it’s International Women’s Day – the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF celebrates this day with paying tribute to our female athletes and pioneers – former, current and future. “Our fantastic athletes in women’s bobsleigh and women’s skeleton are a huge gain for the sport”, said IBSF president Ivo Ferriani. “Women make our sport stronger!”

History of women in bobsleigh and skeleton
Women were part of the sport from the beginning:
- Women – if as part of a men’s team or as all-female teams took part in the first official bobsleigh races from about 1885 on to the 1920s.
- At the same time, about 1887, the Cresta Run was born with athletes racing headfirst – the roots of skeleton sports and with own competitions for women then.
- After being excluded from racing since 1923, women were officially permitted again with own disciplines by the FIBT in the 1990s.
- Women's bobsleigh competition began in the USA in 1983 with demonstration races in Lake Placid, one held during the World Cup races in March 1983.
- The first World Championships in women’s bobsleigh and women’s skeleton were held in 2000 in Winterberg (GER) and Igls (AUT).
- Women's bobsleigh and women’s skeleton made their Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (USA)

It's only a man’s sport? Not at all...!
As the 2016/2017 season comes to an end, the IBSF ranking shows a percentage of 70 in female athlete compared to men participating in Skeleton, whereas women's bobsleigh reaches 60% compared to 2-man bobsleigh – but still: The journey is the goal!

Since 5 years IBSF on operational level is headed by a woman: Heike Größwang, first female IBSF Secretary General
IBSF is proud to have a female Secretary General since 2012 – which is still an exception in international sports leadership. Heike Größwang holds a Master degree in Business Administration and started her career as CEO of a marketing agency. She first joined the federation as Marketing Coordinator and then quickly became Executive Director before she was selected as General Secretary at the IBSF Congress 2012.

All Photos: Viesturs Lacis

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