Winter Olympics Sports List

There are currently 15 sports in the Winter Olympic games, each with a variety of events within the sport. Here's a complete list of sports in the Winter Olympics.


Alpine Skiing

alpine skiing

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1936

Most Medals: Austria

List of Current Events: Slalom (men's and women's), Giant Slalom (men's and women's), Downhill (men's and women's), Super-G (men's and women's), Combined (men's and women's), Team (mixed team)

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

biathlon

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1960

Most Medals: Germany

List of Current Events: Individual (men's and women's), Relay (men's, women's, and mixed), Pursuit (men's and women's), Mass Start (men's and women's)

Biathlon is a sport that combines aspects of cross-country skiing with shooting events involving targets. In its modern form, the first Olympic Biathlon competition debuted in 1960. 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

bobsleigh

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Switzerland

List of Current Events: Two-Person (men's and women's), Four-Man (men's), Monobob (women's)

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. Switzerland 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

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Norway

List of Current Events: Individual Sprint Classic (men's and women's), Mass Start Classic (men's and women's), Freestyle (men's and women's), Relay (men's and women's), Team Sprint Freestyle (men's and women's), Skiathlon (men's and women's)

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 four strokes in swimming). Wooden skis were used up until 1972. Norway currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Curling

curling

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Canada

List of Current Events: Men's Tournament, Women's Tournament, Mixed Doubles

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 onto a target (similar to the target 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). Competitors wear special curling shoes that allow a player to grip the ice to not slip. Canada currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Figure Skating

figure skating

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: United States

List of Current Events: Singles (men's and women's), Pairs, Mixed Team, and Ice Dancing

Figure skating is the oldest winter sport in Olympic history, initially being added to the Summer Olympic Games in 1908 until its transition to the inaugural Winter Olympics In 1924. 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. Today, figure skating features five events in each Winter Olympics. The United States currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Freestyle Skiing

freestyle skiing

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1988

Most Medals: Canada

List of Current Events: Aerials, Moguls, Ski Cross, Ski Halfpipe, Ski Slopestyle, and Big Air (all both men's and women's)

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

ice hockey

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Canada

List of Current Events: Ice Hockey (men's and women's)

Ice hockey was first introduced to the Winter Olympic Games in 1924. Just like the NHL, the game consists of two teams battling against each other for more goals to decide who is victorious. Three forwards, two defensemen, 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

luge

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1964

Most Medals: Germany

List of Current Events: Singles (men's and women's), Mixed Doubles, Mixed Team Relay Event

Luge was first introduced to the Winter Olympics in 1964 and is one of the oldest Olympic sports. Luge involves individuals lying on their backs on a sled (without brakes) and sliding down an icy track at speeds of 140km/hour. The four events in luge include men's singles, women singles, mixed doubles, and mixed team relay event. 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

nordic combined

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Norway

List of Current Events: 10km Individual Normal Hill (men's), Team Normal Hill (men's), 10km Individual Large Hill (men's)

Nordic combined events have been a part of the Winter Olympic sport agenda 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

short track

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1992

Most Medals: South Korea

List of Current Events: 500 Meters (men's and women's), 1000 Meters (men's and women's), 1500 (men's and women's), 3000 Meter Relay (women's), 5000 Meter Relay (men's), 2000 Meter Mixed Team Relay

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, the 5,000 meter relay for men, and the 3,000 meter relay for women. A mixed team event, the 2000 meter relay, will be held in 2022 for the first time as well. South Korea currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Skeleton

skeleton

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1928

Most Medals: Great Britain

List of Events: Skeleton (men's and women's)

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. Skeleton features both a men's and women's event in the Winter Olympics. It is basically the head-first version of luge. Great Britain currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Ski Jumping

ski jumping

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Netherlands

List of Events: Individual Large Hill (men's), Individual Normal Hill (men's and women's), Team Large Hill (men's), Mixed Team Normal Hill

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, and a women's individual race on a normal hill. Norway currently holds the most medals for this sport.

Snowboarding

snowboarding

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1998

Most Medals: United States

List of Current Events: Parallel Giant Slalom (men's and women's), Parallel Slalom (men's and women's), Half-Pipe (men's and women's), Slopestyle (men's and women's), Snowboard Cross (men's, women's, and mixed team)

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.

Speed Skating

speed skating

Debut in Winter Olympics: 1924

Most Medals: Netherlands

List of Current Events: 500 Meters (men's and women's), 1000 Meters (men's and women's), 1500 Meters (men's and women's), 3000 Meters (women's), 5000 Meters (men's and women's), 10000 Meters (men's), Mass Start (men's and women's), Team Pursuit (men's and women's)

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 on 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.

FAQ

What were the original Winter Olympics sports?

The first ever Winter Olympics were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France where only 16 countries participated. A few sports have been added to the Winter Olympic roster over the years and others have been removed from the games altogether. The original nine Winter Olympic sports were bobsleigh, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, military patrol, nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating. There were a total of 16 total events spread across these sports. Out of these nine sports, eight of them remain in the Winter Olympics for 2022, with military patrol being the only sport not included. However, biathlon, which was developed from military patrol and has many similarities, will be present at the 2022 Beijing Games.

What new events are being added for the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The 2022 Winter Olympics will feature a total of seven new events to their events program. The newly added events are big air freestyle for both men and women, women's monobob, mixed team freestyle skiing aerials, mixed team ski jumping, mixed team snowboard cross, and a mixed team relay in short track speed skating. These new event additions are being lauded as a major factor behind the 2022 Winter Olympics being tabbed "the most gender-equal Olympic Winter Games ever," with 45.44% of the competing athletes set to be women.

What country has won the most gold medals in the Winter Olympics all time?

Out of every country in the world to compete in the Winter Olympics, Norway holds the record for the most gold medals with a total of 132. Sitting second in all time medals is the United States with 105, followed by Germany with 92. Those who favor Olympic scoring with a focus on population will likely point to the fact that Norway has a population of under 5.5 million people, making this dominance all the more impressive.