Iron Man, jaguars, flaming skeletons: The coolest skeleton helmets from the Olympic Games

Those who ride skeleton are either crazy or courageous. They voluntarily sprint, sled in hand, on ice, and just before the slope down a curving, icy mountain begins, they jump on the sleigh, stomach down, and plummet down said icy, curving mountain, headfirst, at 71.9 miles per hour, on average.

It’s certifiably insane, and also perversely ineluctable. The danger is one thing, the Olympic version of a thriller movie, where you don’t really want to watch but you can’t help but uncover your eyes just to see American Matthew Antoine safely cross the finish line in 51.16 seconds.

But one of the cooler aspects of the sport is the artistic element of the helmets. Each helmet is custom-designed per racer, like a race car only without all the sponsors — think Ricky Bobby’s “ME” car. One of the most iconic images in regards to American skeleton racing is that of Jim Shea, the 2002 gold medalist, when skeleton was reintroduced to the Olympic Games after a half-decade hiatus.

His bald eagle helmet remains indelible in American skeleton racing. As the skeleton has become more popular with each passing year, the helmets have become more and more extravagant, replete with animals, Marvel characters, flames, flags — you name it, it’s been on a helmet.

Here’s a look at some of the coolest helmets from this year’s skeleton racers:

<p>Iron Man in the Olympics? Iron Man in the Olympics! </p>
Skeleton helmets are incredibly cool

Iron Man in the Olympics? Iron Man in the Olympics!

<p>Another in an eclectic bunch of designs for Team Canada, this one strays from the roaring bears and into something a bit darker. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Another in an eclectic bunch of designs for Team Canada, this one strays from the roaring bears and into something a bit darker.

<p>Sometimes designs don’t have to be elaborate or ferocious to be great. This is a simple look that does the trick. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Sometimes designs don’t have to be elaborate or ferocious to be great. This is a simple look that does the trick.

<p>This isn’t particularly extravagant, but something about this design is just downright cool. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

This isn’t particularly extravagant, but something about this design is just downright cool.

<p>Such an intricate design for such a blindingly fast — and potentially violent — sport. A crown fit for Norway’s Alexander Henning Hanssen. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Such an intricate design for such a blindingly fast — and potentially violent — sport. A crown fit for Norway’s Alexander Henning Hanssen.

<p>No animals or skulls here, but still a very cool, intriguing design for Marina Gilardoni of Switzerland. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

No animals or skulls here, but still a very cool, intriguing design for Marina Gilardoni of Switzerland.

<p>Is that a horse? A unicorn? A moose? Some type of patronus? Either way, we’re in. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Is that a horse? A unicorn? A moose? Some type of patronus? Either way, we’re in.

<p>The helmet matching the forearms is a smooth look for Belgium’s Kim Meylemans. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

The helmet matching the forearms is a smooth look for Belgium’s Kim Meylemans.

<p>Italy’s Joseph Luke Cecchini’s helmet comes straight out of the nightmare department: a skull with eyes of fire. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Italy’s Joseph Luke Cecchini’s helmet comes straight out of the nightmare department: a skull with eyes of fire.

<p>Romania’s Maria Marinela Mazilu may have the helmet that wins the unofficial award for ‘Most likely to end up in a horror movie.’ </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Romania’s Maria Marinela Mazilu may have the helmet that wins the unofficial award for ‘Most likely to end up in a horror movie.’

<p>A closer look at the polar bear being donned by Canadian riders. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

A closer look at the polar bear being donned by Canadian riders.

<p>Canada’s helmets feature two roaring bears and, uh, we’re not entirely sure what the third helmet is, but it’s wild. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

Canada’s helmets feature two roaring bears and, uh, we’re not entirely sure what the third helmet is, but it’s wild.

<p>A roaring bear isn’t a bad companion to have going face first down a mountain. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

A roaring bear isn’t a bad companion to have going face first down a mountain.

<p>A bit of an abstract design, but cool nonetheless for Japan’s Hiroatsu Takahashi, whose first run checked in at 52 seconds. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

A bit of an abstract design, but cool nonetheless for Japan’s Hiroatsu Takahashi, whose first run checked in at 52 seconds.

<p>One of the most iconic helmets in skeleton racing: The Jim Shea bald eagle. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

One of the most iconic helmets in skeleton racing: The Jim Shea bald eagle.

<p>The classic flames look is always a good one for any sport requiring speeds, and skeleton riders can eclipse 80 miles per hour on the mountain. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

The classic flames look is always a good one for any sport requiring speeds, and skeleton riders can eclipse 80 miles per hour on the mountain.

<p>A sharp, sleek design on the helmet here. No animals or super heroes, but none needed — this night sky-type design is smooth, just as the ride down the mountain should be. </p>
Skeleton helmets are insanely cool

A sharp, sleek design on the helmet here. No animals or super heroes, but none needed — this night sky-type design is smooth, just as the ride down the mountain should be.

<p>Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong has had one of the most popular helmets of the 2018 PyeongChang Games with his teeth-baring jaguar. </p>
Skeleton helmets are incredibly cool

Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong has had one of the most popular helmets of the 2018 PyeongChang Games with his teeth-baring jaguar.

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