From Luge to Skeleton, Here’s a Guide to All the Winter Olympic Sports You’ve Never Heard Of

From Luge to Skeleton, Here’s a Guide to All the Winter Olympic Sports You’ve Never Heard Of
Getty

In case you missed this small piece of news, the 2022 Winter Olympics is very quickly approaching. Keen sports fans will shortly be tuning in to watch athletes from all over the globe compete in some of the most challenging winter sports there are. If that’s you, and you’re interested in getting a little more insight into what kinds of sports folks will be competing in during the Winter Olympic Games, consider this something of a guide.

Here, we’ll take a look through what events we can expect to see play out and which ones will have Australian athletes competing in them.

Winter Olympic sports

Winter Olympic sports
Skeleton sled event. Getty.

The full schedule of events is set for the Winter Olympic Games, with 15 different sports listed for the tournament. Here’s a quick rundown on each of them.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing is also sometimes known as downhill skiing and it’s one of the more well-known Winter Olympic sports. Athletes ski down the allocated course, which is filled with jumps and turns. According to the Olympic website, “Competitors regularly reach speeds of up to 152km/h”.

Australians competing in this event include Greta Small, Katie Parker, Louis Muhlen-Schulte and Madison Hoffman.

Bobsleigh

The bobsleigh event is one of three sliding sports at the Winter Olympic Games (the other two are skeleton and luge). In essence, the sport uses a sledge, with athletes inside, to race down an allocated course. This year, we’ll see the new women’s monobob event under the bobsleigh competition.

Australian athletes competing in the bobsleigh sport for 2022 include Bree Walker and Kiara Reddingius.

Biathlon

The biathlon event is an interesting one, it combines skiing and shooting. At the Winter Olympics, there will be 11 events under the biathlon competition.

Those include:

Men:

10km Sprint 20km Individual 12.5km Pursuit 15km Mass Start 4 x 7.5km Relay

Women:

7.5km Sprint 15km Individual 10km Pursuit 12.5km Mass Start 4 x 6km Relay

Mixed:

4 x 6km (W+M) Mixed Relay

Cross-Country Skiing

This event sees athletes compete in a challenge where skiers need to traverse snow-covered terrain.

The Australian athletes competing in cross-country skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympics include Casey Wright, Hugo Hinckfuss, Jessica Yeaton, Lars Young Vik, Phillip Bellingham, and more.

Curling

As the Olympic website reads, “Curling is one of the more unique sports at the Winter Olympics – one that involves stones, brooms, and a ‘slider’ and ‘gripper’ shoe”. The basic gist here is that these stones are meant to be directed to a certain mark, with brooms being used to control the stone’s directions along the way.

Representing Australia in this sport are Dean Hewitt and Tahli Gill. The athletes are the first pair from Australia to qualify for the Winter Games. The first curling event featuring the Australian team went ahead on the morning of February 3, with Aus being defeated by the United States.

Figure Skating

Figure skating seeing athletes perform rhythmic routines on ice. Events in the competition include men’s individual, women’s individual, pairs, ice dancing and the team event.

Brendan Kerry and Kailani Crane will compete in figure skating for Australia at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing involves a whole bunch of adrenaline-pumping aerial tricks and for that reason, it’s a pretty popular sport at the Winter Olympic Games. Under this competition, you’ll see events like ski cross, halfpipe, and slope-style, as well as two new events in 2022: men’s and women’s freestyle skiing Big Air and mixed team freestyle skiing aerials.

Representing Australia in 2022 for this sport is Abi Harrigan, Britteny Cox, Brodie Summers, Cooper Woods and Danielle Scott, among others.

Ice Hockey

Another super popular winter sport is ice hockey. We’re going to go ahead and assume you’re familiar, but if not, it’s essentially a game where the goal is to get the puck in your opponent’s goal while skating on ice.

Luge

Similar to sledding, luge is another sliding sport at the games. This, the Olympic website states, is the fastest of all sliding sports with “athletes racing at speeds averaging 120-145 km/h”.

It’s a solo event and representing Australia we have Alexander Ferlazzo.

Nordic Combined

Never heard of the Nordic combined sport? Neither had we. This event combines both ski jumping and cross-country skiing making it quite the challenge.

Short Track Speed Skating

This is a speed-skating race where skaters compete in an oval ice track for first place.

Brendan Corey will represent Australia in this event.

Skeleton

Skeleton is another sliding event where athletes take to a frozen track on a solo bobsled while facing downwards.

The Australian athletes competing in this event are Jaclyn Narracott and Nick Timmings.

Snowboard

This we’re sure you’re familiar with. Athletes will navigate a course while travelling on a snowboard.

The Australian snowboard team includes Adam Dickson, Adam Lambert, Belle Brockhoff, Cameron Bolton and Emily Arthur, among others.

Ski Jumping

Ski jumping involved picking up speed and landing a jump after taking off from a ramp. Elements like jump length and style.

In the competition, there are 5 separate ski jumping events:

  • Men’s Normal Hill Individual
  • Men’s Large Hill Individual
  • Men’s Team
  • Women’s Normal Hill Individual
  • Mixed Team

Speed Skating

Speed skating is an ice-based sport like figure skating or short track ice skating. Athletes will take to an oval and compete for the fasted time. There are 14 events within the speed skating discipline including:

Men

  • 500m
  • 1000m
  • 1500m
  • 5000m
  • 10,000m
  • Mass start
  • Team pursuit

Women

  • 500m
  • 1000m
  • 1500m
  • 3000m
  • 5000m
  • Mass start
  • Team pursuit

When is the Winter Olympics?

The Winter Olympic Games kick off on February 4 and run through to February 20, 2022. Events will take place across three competition zones, Beijing, Yangqing and Zhangjiakou.

Read on about where to watch the Winter Olympics from Australia here.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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