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The Skeleton, Like Nothing Else



The Skeleton, Like Nothing Else
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.78

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    analogy, champagne, Moritz, mere, racer, mechanism, cases, asphalt, unique, mysterious, lower, daredevil, listed, race, racing, lies
     content words:    Moritz Winter Games, These Olympic Games, Winter Olympics, Winter Games, Salt Lake City, Jim Shea, United States, Tristan Gale, Lea Ann Parsley


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The Skeleton, Like Nothing Else
By Jane Runyon
  

1     The skeleton race is one of three sled races in the Olympics. The other two are the bobsled and the luge. In the bobsled race, two to four people sit in a sled and steer their way down a course. In the luge, the rider lies face up with his or her feet going down the course first. In the skeleton, the slider lies face down on the sled. The rider goes head first down the course.
 
2     How do you think the skeleton got its name? Some sliders like to say it was because the first person who tried the sled wrecked so badly all that was left was his skeleton. That is just a joke. The name comes from the fact that the first metal sled used for racing looked like a skeleton.
 
3     A skeleton sled is just three feet long. When a rider jumps on the skeleton, he or she is face down. In most cases, a rider's chin is a mere two inches from the icy surface of the course. There is no steering mechanism on a skeleton sled. The rider controls the path the sled takes by shifting his or her weight from side to side. At speeds of up to 85 miles an hour, this is not an easy task.

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