3-woman toboggan cross-country – Anchorage, Alaska, USA – 1

Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.

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The Anchorage cross-country 3 woman toboggan contest has taken place since 1965 and has become the world’s biggest competition of its kind. This event combines the excitement of the toboggan and the strength of uphill cross-country skiing. The three women have to fit onto the toboggan together in the downhill sections and then combine their arm strength to move the toboggan, with them still sitting on it, up the tough uphill sections. This contest favours the woman who takes part in dragon-boating, canoeing, or kayaking during the summer months. There are three competitions run over 5km, 10km, and 15km.

The event came into being when tobogganers were tearing down a local hill and then walking back to the top – they decided that walking wasn’t competitive enough and so decided to sit on their toboggan and use their arm strength to return to the summit and then they’d find out who had the strongest arms. The Atkins sisters were triplets and had been given a longer toboggan by their father as they liked to exercise together. Due to the extra weight they always hurtled down the hill faster than anyone else and then they showed extraordinary co-ordination by returning their toboggan to the top of the hill whilst still sitting on it. All the other females on the hill were determined to beat the Atkins sisters and so the contest began on January 6th with sixteen teams from the Anchorage area competing over courses to the south of the city.

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