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What is the skeleton, when can I watch it and, is Lizzy Yarnold competing for Great Britain at the Winter Olympics?

THE skeleton has been one of the best events at the Winter Olympics for the Great Britain team.

Four athletes will be competing for Team GB at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang with Lizzy Yarnold hoping to defend her title.

 Lizzy Yarnold won the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Games
Lizzy Yarnold won the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Games

SKELETON is a winter sliding sport, involving single riders which originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland. 

A person rides a skeleton bobsled down a frozen track whilst lying face down.

The sport was named the "skeleton" due to the fact that the first metal sleds were said to resemble a human skeleton.

DURING races the rider can reach speeds of over 80mph and experience forces up to 5g. 

At the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, men's bronze medallist Matthew Antoine from America reached a top speed of 80.3mph.

In the women's event in 2014, the top speed was 78.9mph.

 Lizzy Yarnold has struggled in the run-up to the 2018 Games

EPA

Lizzy Yarnold has struggled in the run-up to the 2018 Games

THE sport was first contested at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St Moritz. 

After featuring again in the 1948 Games, it was then discontinued as an Olympic sport.

Skeleton was reintroduced at the 2002, with a women's event included for the first time.

The USA has won the most medals in the event - eight (three gold, four silver, two bronze).

 Amy Williams won Great Britain's first gold medal medal in the skeleton
Amy Williams won Great Britain's first gold medal medal in the skeleton

Great Britain is the only nation to have won a medal every time skeleton has featured at the Winter Olympics. 

The first medal came in the 1928 Games when David Carneige won a bronze medal and in 1948 John Crammond also came third in the competition.

In the women's event, Team GB has won a medal in every women's skeleton since its introduction in 2002.

Alex Coomber was the first women to get on the podium (bronze) at the Salt Lake City Games, followed by Shelley Rudman in 2006 when she won a silver medal - the only medallist for Team GB.

Great Britain is the current reigning champions in the event with Amy Williams winning Gold at the 2010 Games in Vancouver and Lizzy Yarnold finishing first at Sochi 2014.

 Amy Williams won gold in 2010 Vancouver Games
Amy Williams won gold in 2010 Vancouver Games

FOUR athletes were selected to represent Great Britain at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. 

On January, 22 it was announced that Yarnold had been given the opportunity to defend her Gold medal from Sochi 2014.

Alongside her in the women's event Laura Deas has been chosen for her first Winter Olympics after an impressive World Cup competition saw her finish seventh overall.

Dom Parsons will represent Team GB for his second Winter Olympics after he finished tenth at the 2014 Games and will be joined in the men's event by Jerry Rice.

The 2017-year-old made his first World Cup appearance in the final race of the 2015-16 season  and was crowned 2016-17 Intercontinental Cup champion.

 Yarnold is aiming for gold after a mixed World Cup season in the run-up to the Games
Yarnold is aiming for gold after a mixed World Cup season in the run-up to the Games

BOTH the men's and women's competitions start on Monday, February 12 for the training heats.

In the men's competition the heats will start at 1am on Thursday, February 15.

The third and fourth heats, which will decide the men's medals will be held on Friday, February 16 from 12.30am.

For the women, the heats will start on Friday, February 16 with Heat 1 starting at 11.20am UK time.

The final two heats will be held the day after, with the final heat and gold medal being decided from 12.30pm UK time.

The joint Korea ice hockey team play their first game ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics while protesters gather outside the venue