Images show just how much the Olympic bobsled event has changed over the years

Among the most intense sports at the Winter Olympics are the bobsled events, or officially, “bobsleigh.”

The bobsled events that most of us are familiar with involve what look like miniature rockets propelling down a man-made track at extreme velocities, often under the cover of a roof to protect the track from the elements.

But things were much different nearly 100 years ago when the sport was part of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, held in Chamonix, France.

Below is a look at just how much the sport has evolved through the years, with a lot of help from the IOC who collected video from many of the Olympiads. You can see that video here.

1924 — Chamonix, France

Gold medalists:

Men’s Four/Five: Switzerland-1

The track in 1924 looked like somebody dug a track in their backyard

1932 — Lake Placid, USA

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: United States-1
Men’s Four: United States-1

It looks like the racers were wearing leather football helmets with some primitive facemasks. Also note the steering wheel.

1936 — Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: United States-1
Men’s Four: Switzerland-2

The track was still cut into the hillside, but it looked like it was starting to be built for serious speed.

1948 — Sankt Moritz, Switzerland

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Switzerland-2
Men’s Four: United States-2

While some teams started to incorporate more aerodynamics into the sleds, some were still using standard steering wheels.

1952 — Oslo, Norway

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Germany-1
Men’s Four: Germany

Some of the sleds started to look like race cars.

1956 — Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Italy-1
Men’s Four: Switzerland-1

And still just cutting tracks into the hillside.

1964 — Innsbruck, Austria

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Great Britain-1
Men’s Four: Canada-1

1972 — Sapporo, Japan

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: West Germany-2
Men’s Four: Switzerland-1

Check out those helmets

1988 — Calgary, Canada

Getty Images

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Soviet Union-1
Men’s Four: Switzerland-1

1998 — Nagano, Japan

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Italy-1; Canada-1
Men’s Four: Germany-2

2006 — Torino, Italy

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Gold medalists:

Men’s Two: Germany-1
Men’s Four: Germany-1
Women’s Two: Germany-1

2018 — Pyeongchang, South Korea

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Now check out the best photos from the Olympics so far.

Cameron Spencer/Getty

The 34 best photos of the Winter Olympics so far

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.