Winter Olympics Sports List
List of Winter Olympic Sports
Alpine Skiing was first introduced to the Olympic games in 1936. Currently, Alpine Skiing in the Olympics consists of 11 events; 1 team event and 5 events each for men and for women. The events include a slalom, a giant slalom, a downhill, a Super-G, and a combined team event. An individual's goal is to ski down a mountain in the quickest amount of time. Austria currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Biathlon is a sport which combines aspects of cross-country skiing with shooting events with shooting events involving targets. The first Biathlon competition was held in 1767. There are several different types of Biathlon events that are made for both men and women. Some of these include a 10km sprint, a 12.5km pursuit, a 15km individual, and various different relays. More recently in 2014, mixed team Biathlon was added to the Olympic games. Germany currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Bobsleigh, also referred to as Bobsledding, has been around since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Initially, Bobsleigh was just a sport for men to compete in, but in 2002, women's events were added. The four events on tap include: Two-man sledding, Two-women sledding, Four-man sledding, and a Monobob sledding event for women. Germany currently holds the most medals for this sport. A fun fact is that the film, Cool Runnings, was inspired by Jamaica's 1988 bobsledding team.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skiing comprises parts of Biathlon and Nordic Combined events. The event itself, however, consists of 12 separate events: 6 for men and 6 for women (introduced in 1952). The events include a team relay, individual sprints, and different events alternating between the types of skiing styles (just as there are 4 strokes in swimming). Wooden skis were used up until 1972. Norway currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Curling is a team sport played by two teams competing against one another on a sheet of ice. The goal is for players to push granite stones with a broom or brush into a target (similar to the board used in archery) at the opposite end of the 42 meter long surface. The two most common types of brooms used include a push broom or a straw broom (similar to the typical broom used to sweep). Special curling shoes are worn which allow a player to grip the ice to not slip. Canada currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Figure skating is the oldest sport in Olympic history, initially being part of both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. As time passed, however, it soon disappeared from the Summer Olympic agenda. Figure skating Winter Olympic events include Men's singles, Ladies' singles, Pairs, Mixed Team Event and Ice Dancing. In 2014, the figure skating team event was added. The United States currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Freestyle skiing was first brought to the Winter Olympics in 1988. Freestyle skiing continues to evolve as a Winter Olympic sport. The six freestyle skiing events include: aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle and big air. Ski cross was added in 2010, ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle were added in 2014, and big air is set to be added in 2022. The sport consists of unique tricks and requires a special set of skills. Canada currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Ice hockey was first introduced to the Winter Olympic games in 1920. Just like the NHL, the game consists of two teams battling against each other for victory. Three forwards, 2 defenseman, and a goalie are on the ice at once (assuming there are no penalties). Up until the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, the Soviet Union was the true powerhouse and won gold medal after gold medal. This was up until Herb Brooks formed the United States "Miracle on Ice Team" that won gold and shocked the world forever. The famous movie, Miracle on Ice, is a true story inspired by these Olympic games. Canada currently holds the most medals for this sport. This is no shock, as the game originated there.
Luge was first introduced to the Winter Olympics in 1964 and is one of the oldest Olympic Sports. The four events in luge include: Men's Singles, Women Singles, Mixed Doubles and Mixed Team Relay event. Luge involves individuals lying on their backs on a sled (without brakes) and sliding down an icy track at speeds of 140km/hour. For the events involving two competitors, the larger of the two members will be on top. Germany currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Nordic combined events have been a part of the Winter Olympic sport agenda ever since the first games in 1924. The sport combines both cross-country skiing and ski jumping. The events include an individual race on a normal and large hill, which is then followed by a team event. As inferred from the name of the event, Norway currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Short Track is a type of speed skating that is held on a shorter track. The sport has been part of the Winter Olympic agenda since 1992. The events include: a 500 meter race, a 1,000 meter race, a 1,500 meter race, and also the 5,000 meter relay for men and 3,000 meter relay for women. A mixed team event happens as well. South Korea currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Skeleton was first introduced to the Winter Olympic games in 1928. This sporting event involves competitors riding on a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down and facing forward. It is basically the head first version of luge. The United States currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Ski jumping has been part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Games in 1924. Ski jumping comprises aspects of the nordic combined event. Ski jumping events include: a men's individual race on a large and normal hill, a team race on a large hill, a women's individual race on a normal hill, and a mixed team race. Norway currently holds the most medals for this sport.
Snowboarding was a relatively late addition to the Olympic Winter games. The sport was invented in the US during the 1960s by a group of people seeking new winter activities. The sport was introduced in 1998 with giant slalom and halfpipe competitions. The current events include: parallel giant slalom, snowboard cross, halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air. A mixed team event will also be added to the games in 2022. The United States currently holds the most medals for this sport.
The Dutch were the earliest pioneers of speed skating. The first known skating competition is thought to have been hosted in the Netherlands in 1676. The sport was first introduced to the Winter Olympics in 1924. There are 14 events; all of these events vary in the distance of the skate and depend whether it is an individual or team race. The United States and Canada are two of the most competitive countries, but the Netherlands currently holds the most medals for this sport. This is not surprising, as they were the ones who created the sport.